Security Features of Outlook.com That Keep You Safe!


Microsoft has unveiled its first mailing service in the month of July, which is Outlook.com. This new webmail service by Microsoft is expected to gain more attention than Hotmail. Considering the security issues of the users, Microsoft has taken certain measures to boost the security of the mailing system, against spam & phishing.

The recent features that are added to the webmail service are said to be: DMARC mail authorization and EV certificates. These security features have been designed to intensify SSl certificates, as told by Microsoft.



What is the use of DMARC?

DMARC or ‘Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance’ is a technical specification developed by many organizations, which prove to be helpful for reducing the misuse of e-mail systems. This means, DMARC sets protocols for the mail service that take care of the abuse sent to the recipient’s mail box, such as phishing mails and spam. This system is being standardized by technologies like DKIM & SPF.

There are many DMARC supporters, few of them are: Facebook, Yahoo, PayPal, AOL, Google and now, Microsoft has joined the league. It is a known fact that mischief-makers trick the intended recipients to disclose their private data, by luring them to click on malicious links. DMARC prevents spam mails from tricking the recipients, by blocking them from reaching the recipient’s mail box.    .
KrishVitaldevara, from the Program Management team of Outlook.com, wrote in a post “Our DMARC implementation helps protect you by making it easier to visually identify mail from senders as legitimate, and helps keep spam and phishing messages from ever reaching your inbox. If a sender supports DMARC, we put a trusted sender logo next to their email indicating it is legitimate.”

Extended ValidationCertificates:

At the same time, Microsoft has encouraged EV Certificates in Outlook.com. This addition of EV certificates will decrease the chances of the hackers to fool the users and obtain their confidential information via deceitful site that looks similar to Outlook.com.

According to Microsoft, it has chosen Verisign to release the EV Certificates for its webmail service. This has a minimal requirement of 2048 bit encryption. Once the EV certificates are sanctioned for Outlook.com, you can see a green colored bar in the bar of the URL address, which would signify the legitimacy of the website. 

Vitaldevara writes, “While malicious sites might try to impersonate a site’s UI or brand, they cannot replicate the browser’s green bar. And by deploying EV certificates broadly we can apply 2048 bit encryption not just to your login, but to your actual mail content as well.”

Microsoft has planned to substantiate EV Certificate validation in other websites of it, too. One of them is its cloud storage service viz. SkyDrive.

Microsoft had an intention of offering a new concept of e-mail system, using all the technologies possible that will make e-mailing easier and better. Since July, the count of Outlook.com users is estimated to be 25 million.




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