Hotmail introduces “My friend’s been hacked” security feature

Have you encounterd a situation where you suddenly started receiving spam from your friend? Email accounts with weak passwords are susceptible to account hijacking, a situation where one’s mail account can get compromised.

In most cases it is usually the friends who find this out first, because they are the one’s who start getting spam and junk mail from their friend’s account.

What one normally does is that you reply back asking what this mail is all about or telling him on this ID and/or an alternate email ID, that his/her account may have been hacked. Or you would call or SMS your friend that their email account could have been compromised.

Well, now you can do more!

If you look at the drop-down menu for Mark as, you will now see a new option: My friend’s been hacked. When you click this option, Hotmail is intimated of this.

Alternatively, when you move any mail from you contacts or friends to the Junk folder, you will get and option to check a box: I think this person was hacked!

Hotmail’s Compromise Detection System along with these new signals will then try to confirm if the account has indeed been hacked.

Once the account has been marked as compromised, two things happen:

  • The spammer will not be able to use the account
  • When the genuine user tries to access it, he/she will be  put through an account recovery flow that will help them recover and take back control of the Hotmail account. To aid your account recovery, you should also set up a Trusted PC.

Hotmail will now also prevent users from using one of several common passwords like 123456, password, etc. It is in any case, always a good idea to use a strong password.

Find out: Have I been Hacked?

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.