Microsoft is really trying to improve Hotmail and introducing new and unique features day by day.
Recently Microsoft introduced some new features and keyboard shortcuts for Hotmail:
And today Microsoft again introduced 2 excellent and very useful features in Hotmail which are as following:
- Let you report a friend's account as compromised
- Prevents you from using weak passwords
Here is what Dick Craddock from Windows Live team says about these new features:
Many email accounts have weak passwords that make them easy targets for hijackers. Also when someone's account gets hijacked, their friends often find out before they do, because the hijacker uses their account to send spam or phishing email to all their contacts.
These two observations led us to develop a couple of new features that help protect your accounts. The first lets you report a friend's account as compromised – a feature unique to Hotmail – and the second prevents you from using common passwords that make your account easy to hack.
"My friend's been hacked" Feature:
Hotmail lets you report your friend's account as compromised. It's easy: When you get that spam message supposedly from your friend, you just click "My friend's been hacked!" on the "Mark as" menu:
You can also report an account as compromised when you mark a message as junk or otherwise move a message to the Junk folder:
When you report that your friend's account has been compromised, Hotmail takes that report and combines it with the other information from the compromise detection engine to determine if the account in question has in fact been hijacked.
Once Hotmail marks the account as compromised, two things happen:
- First and foremost, the account can no longer be used by the spammer.
- When your friend attempts to access their account, they're put through an account recovery flow that helps them take back control of the account.
This new features works for any email account. Other email provides like Yahoo! and Gmail will also be able to use the reports in their own systems to recover hacked accounts.
So now, in Hotmail, you can report any email account as compromised, and Hotmail will provide the compromise information to both Yahoo! and Gmail.
"Prevent from Using Weak Passwords" Feature:
Hotmail will now prevent users from using one of several common passwords. Having a common password makes your account vulnerable to brute force "dictionary" attacks, in which a malicious person tries to hijack your account just by guessing passwords (using a short list of very common passwords).
Common passwords are not just "password" or "123456" (although those are frighteningly common), but also include words or phrases that just happen to be shared by millions of people, like "ilovecats" or "gogiants."
This new feature will be rolling out soon, and will prevent you from choosing a very common password when you sign up for an account or when you change your password.
So, Are you also using a weak password for your email account?