The free alternative email service from Windows Live, Hotmail, competes with Google’s Gmail. The service delivers updated anti-spam and hack security software for users and allows users to send and receive emails for free from anywhere in the world. Outlook, a recent update to Hotmail, is an update made by Microsoft to increase security and safeguard users from hackers. In this article, we’ll answer your question, “Is Hotmail safe from hackers?”
We will assess Hotmail’s security features and the different ways Hotmail users can safeguard their information from hackers and security threats.
What is Hotmail?
Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith developed the email service Hotmail in 1996. One of the first web-based email systems, it rose to prominence swiftly. Hotmail eliminated the need for desktop email applications like Outlook or Thunderbird by enabling users to access their emails from any location with an internet connection. Hotmail had services including virus detection, spam filtering, and a sizable storage capacity for its time.
Additionally, it had a user-friendly interface with tools like folders, an address book, and email setting customization. Microsoft bought Hotmail in 1997 and incorporated it into its MSN (Microsoft Network) network. Hotmail was consequently renamed “MSN Hotmail” and then “Windows Live Hotmail.”
Hotmail’s Security Features
Again, Hotmail is now formally known as Outlook, according to Microsoft’s changes. Two-step verification is a feature that Outlook.com gives to further secure your account. When logging in from an unfamiliar device with 2SV enabled, you’ll need to provide your password in addition to a verification code that is often given to your mobile device.
Outlook.com offers a range of account recovery alternatives, such as alternative email addresses, phone numbers, or security questions, to assist you in safely regaining access in the event that you lose access to your account. Outlook.com encrypts data in transit using industry-standard methods, such as Transport Layer Security (TLS). By doing this, you can guarantee that your emails and attachments have good protection through encryption.
Is Hotmail Safe From Hackers?
More than 10,000 Hotmail users’ usernames and passwords underwent a public leak in 2009. Those responsible for the leak sent fake emails to Hotmail users in attempts to provide their passwords and account information. One of the techniques that thieves employ to access email accounts is the tactic known as “phishing.” Although losing a Hotmail account is surely a terrifying event for the victim, taking precautions to lessen the risk of it happening again might improve the security of other online accounts and turn the situation around. Microsoft responsibly took notice of this incident and worked on Hotmail’s security and safety features.
Now, Gmail and Hotmail are two of the most secure email providers on the market in terms of security. Your emails are not end-to-end encrypted, but Microsoft and Google are both quite secure. Both services safeguard your emails from hackers, screening them just to improve their ability to market to you. Email security depends on you, just like it does with other internet accounts.
Since the security of both emailing systems is quite comparable, the choice will ultimately come down to preference. Kemal Hlyer, Director of Pure360, offers the following advice: “Like many others I know, I have only ever used my personal email account with Hotmail; I haven’t changed because it’s convenient rather than out of a desire to find a better option. There aren’t many differences between well-known email providers, but depending on what users want, they do provide slightly different advantages. Some emailers like Gmail because it makes it simple to divide messages into labels, such as creating a promotions tab for marketing emails.”
How to secure your Hotmail account
Security lapses and hacking have increased in frequency as criminal sophistication has increased. When using Hotmail, users must make sure their account is as safe as possible. There are several ways to accomplish this:
- Make it as secure as you can by using a strong password that is challenging to decipher and has lots of variation.
- Always use HTTPS to access your Hotmail account to ensure that you are using a secure server connection and that hackers cannot intercept any data you send to the server.
- You must make sure that your Hotmail account’s password reset information is always current so that you may always reset your password using the recovery information if you forget it. You must visit the Windows Live account page in order to reset your password information.
- When your personal, trusted computer is unavailable, there are instances when you’ll need to check your email on a public computer. On public computers, HTTPS is the better option compared to HTTP.
- For added security, enable two-step verification for your Microsoft account using the Hotmail service or a third-party app.
How to recover your hacked Hotmail account
Acting fast is crucial if you suspect that someone has hacked your Hotmail account in order to reclaim control and secure your account. The methods you can take to get your compromised Hotmail account back are as follows:
1. Click the “Can’t access your account?” option on the Hotmail/Outlook.com login screen. Follow the prompts to authenticate your identity, which may entail giving a recovery email address or phone number linked to your account, after selecting the option “I think someone else is using my Microsoft account” and clicking “Next.” You’ll be able to reset your password after it validates your identity.
2. Review your account settings after regaining access to your account to be sure the hacker hasn’t made any unauthorized changes. Look for any strange auto-replies, email forwarding rules, or aliases. Make sure all of your security details, including recovery phone numbers and email addresses, are up to date.
3. For your Hotmail/Outlook.com account, enable two-step verification. Requesting a verification number, which is typically provided to your mobile device, in addition to your password when logging in from an unrecognized device, adds an extra degree of security.
4. Use reliable antivirus or anti-malware software to perform a comprehensive check of your computer or mobile device. By doing this, you may help make sure that your computer is clean of any dangerous software that might have assisted in the hacking of your account.
5. Check your Hotmail/Outlook.com account frequently for any suspicious activity. Microsoft offers account activity logs that display the locations and dates of recent login attempts. Report any illegal access or suspicious activity right away to Microsoft.
6. Use the methods above if you are still having trouble recovering your compromised Hotmail account. If so, get in touch with Microsoft support. They can offer suggestions and support you as you go through the account recovery procedure.
Changing Your Password
To ensure that no other hackers gain access to your account, the best thing to do is to first change your Outlook email password.
- Open an account and log in. The quickest option to recover control is to quickly change your password if you can still access your account.
- To access the settings, click the gear symbol. In the upper right corner, close to your account name, is the gear symbol.
- From the menu, choose “More Mail Settings”. You can access an options page by selecting the fourth option from the list of color samples.
- To access the language selection, click “Account Details”. The first selection under the “Managing Your Account” header is this button.
- Select “Change Password” from the menu. The “Password and security info” header contains a button that opens the password field.
- Press Save after entering your new and old passwords in the text areas. To be sure there are no typos, you must enter your new password twice. Passwords must have a minimum of 8 characters and are case-sensitive. By checking the box to the right of the “Save” button, you may force Microsoft to force you to change your password once every 72 days on your account. Regular password changes will help shield your account from further threats. Create a powerful password using a combination of symbols, numbers, and both capital and lowercase letters.
- Access your account and log in to confirm the changes. Informing your contacts that you have taken back control of your account is a good idea.
Regaining Access to Your Account
Microsoft occasionally locks accounts that it suspects have fraudulent activity for a short period of time. If the system has locked you out or if the individual accessing your account has changed your password, this method will still work.
1. Select “Forgot my password” from the login menu. This button will send you to the password recovery page. It is below the input fields for your username and password.
2. Click “Next” after selecting “I believe someone else is using my Microsoft Account.” This will direct you to the page for account recovery.
3. In the first text area, enter the email address.
4. In the second text field, type the captcha characters. To ensure that you are not a robot or automated script trying to access the website, a captcha is a random string of characters. Press “New” to get a fresh set of characters if you are having problems reading the captcha, or “Audio” to have the characters read to you if you need help.
5. Click “Next” after choosing how you want to get a security code. If your account has a backup email address or phone number, choose it from the list. Doing this will send a code to that location or device.
6. You will then go to a website where you may reset your password after entering the code. You’ll need to be able to recognize your backup email or number from the first and final few letters or numbers because some characters will undergo censorship for security reasons. Selecting “I don’t have any of these” will bring you to the “Recover your Microsoft Account page” if your account does not have any backups.
Resetting Your Account’s Language
1. To access settings, sign in to your recovered account and click the gear icon. You can reset your account from the settings menu if you recover it and discover that it’s a different language.
2. In the upper right corner, close to your account name, is the gear symbol. From the menu, choose “More Mail Settings”. You can access an options page by selecting the fourth option from the list of color samples.
3. To open the language menu, click “Language.” The second selection in the “Customizing Outlook” header on the right is this button. Click “Save” after choosing your preferred language from the list.
Recovering Deleted Messages
1. Click “Deleted” after logging into your regained account. If you believe that the hacker in question deleted your mail during the hack, it might still be retrievable.
2. One of your mail folders that shows up in the sidebar on the left is the “Deleted” button. Successfully recovered messages will be in the “Deleted” folder once you scroll down to the bottom of the page and select “Recover Deleted Messages.”
3. When selecting “Move > Inbox” from the context menu of an email, preserve it. Periodically, Hotmail will permanently delete messages in the destroyed folder. You can prevent future email loss by moving the messages you want to keep out of the Deleted folder.
New dangers and technology are always developing, changing the email security landscape. To solve these issues, service providers like Microsoft routinely upgrade their security protocols, so it’s crucial to keep up with any modifications or improvements made by your email provider. You can significantly improve the security of your email accounts and safeguard your personal information from unauthorized access or misuse by combining the security measures offered by email service providers like Outlook.com with responsible user behaviors, like using strong passwords and caution with suspicious emails.