With the threat of hackers, malware, and all that nasty stuff that goes along with being online as real as ever, more and more companies have been offering their users the option to employ two-factor authentication. That is, beyond the password you know, you also have to be in possession of something – in this case, your smartphone – in order to authenticate yourself. Google’s been doing this for a while now, and Apple just got started earlier this year. Following a pattern Windows Phone fans are all too familiar with, now that those two have adopted a new technology, it’s Microsoft’s turn to play catch-up, and evidence of the company’s own two-factor authentication plan have now surfaced.
The Authenticator app itself is already in the Windows Phone store, but the changes needed to enable you to set up two-factor authentication have yet to be made on Microsoft’s servers. Once they do, you’ll be able to pair your Microsoft account with your smartphone, which can then be used to generate secure codes you’ll need in order to log on to Microsoft services in the future.
Backwards-compatability with apps that don’t support two-factor authentication has also been considered, and the site will let you create “app passwords” to bypass normal authentication in such cases.
It’s not yet clear when Microsoft intends to go live with this, but with the app already out, we’d guess it’s just around the corner.