Whenever possible I prefer not to enter login information on third party computer systems and networks.
Why? Because I do not have full control over the software running in the background or in the same network.
Other means of logging in are preferred, especially passwords that are only valid once and expire afterwards.
That's what Hotmail has added to their website recently.
Update: The very same feature is also available on Outlook.com, Microsoft's new email service.
When you open the Windows Live Hotmail website you see the standard Hotmail sign in screen for the most part. If you look below the Sign In button you see this:
Not your computer? Get a single use code to sign in with
The sign in form changes when you click on the link. You are now asked to enter your Windows Live ID and the single use code instead of your regular password to log in to the service.
This is also indicated at the top where it states:
sign in with single use code. If you're signing in from a public computer, you can use a single use code instead of your password for added security.
If you do not have a code yet you can request one with a click on Get one here on the same page. You are then asked to enter your Windows Live ID and a mobile phone number that is linked to the account.
Microsoft will send a text message to the phone number that includes the single use code that you can use to sign in to Hotmail.
If you have not linked a mobile phone number to your Windows Live account yet you can do so in the account settings. Open the link and enter your login information. Click on Security & privacy once you are signed in and there on the "add a new phone number" link on the page.
The mobile phone number needs to be confirmed before it can be used for single use codes. Hotmail sends an email to the linked account email address.
This email contains a confirmation link that you need to load to confirm the addition of the mobile phone number to the account. This obviously only adds to security if you do not use Hotmail as your email provider for that account email address.
Once the number has been verified you can start requesting single use codes for your Hotmail sign ins.
Single use codes are actually available on all Windows Live sign in forms.
The addition of single use codes adds to Hotmail's and Windows Live's security big time. What's your take on this? (via)Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.