United States tech giant has announced a new feature that would enable you logging into Microsoft account without using a password. It will require a smartphone to sign into your account.
Microsoft has developed this feature as part of the iOS and Android Microsoft Authenticator App. In order to enable this feature you will need to download the Microsoft Authenticator App from the App store for Android or iOS (according to the device you have) and choose your account from the dropdown option thereafter choose enable phone sign-in.
Then enter your username as usual and instead of entering your password, a notification will be sent on your phone. You just need to unlock your phone then tap Approve. Then you may need to authenticate yourself on the phone by tapping in your access pin or scanning your fingerprint and that’s it, you are logged into your microsoft account. With this feature, whenever you will sign into your microsoft account in future, it will generate a login request that you just match a number on your device with the number showing in the Microsoft Authenticator App.
“The process is easier than standard two-step verification and significantly more secure than only a password, which can be forgotten, phished, or compromised,” said Alex Simons, director of Program Management, Microsoft Identity Division, in a statement.
But you can anytime choose to use your password for logging into your account, in case you forget carrying your phone. A link at the bottom of the confirmation page lets you choose to use a password but if you wish to switch back from your password to the Microsoft Authenticator then you can tap on “Use the Microsoft Authenticator app instead”. But you have two advantages with new feature, it is quite easier and more secure. And moreover you don’t need to remember your password, now your smartphone will remember it for you.
Using your phone to sign in with PIN or fingerprint is a seamless way to incorporate two account “proofs” in a way that feels natural and familiar, Simons (Partner Director of Program Management) added.
The process of setting up an account:
If you already use the Microsoft Authenticator for your personal account, select the dropdown button on your account tile, and choose Enable phone sign-in.
If you are adding a new account on an Android phone, we’ll automatically prompt you to set it up.
If you are adding a new account on an iPhone, and we’ll automatically set it up for you by default.
Its a one time process and next time it will sent you a notification to your phone.
If you observe this feature carefully, you will find that it is somewhat similar to “two-factor-authentication” but the only thing is, here it uses different interpretations to constitute “two-factor authentication”. You can consider mobile device as the first factor and the pin or fingerprint can be a second factor. Both of these would be required for every sign in session.
As if now Microsoft Authenticator App doesn’t support Windows Phone Version. Microsoft company has said that less than 5% of Windows Phone users are using Microsoft Authenticator App if this new feature gets big success on these two high scale platforms – Android & iOS then they may evaluate adding support for Windows Phone.
One thing you might be thinking that this new process has not reduced the number of steps involved in logging in Microsoft Account, however it seems to take more time and involved more steps but still it is easier and moreover you don’t need to remember and type in long passwords.