Microsoft beefs up Xbox Live security

Encourages users to update their security info today.

Xbox Live general manager Alex Garden detailed a series of security improvements Microsoft has made to its online service.

Below are the primary changes put into effect since the last update, according to Garden's official Xbox Blog:

  • We've increased notifications to members whose accounts may be compromised to add proofs, update their passwords, and, if necessary, contact Xbox support. This helps our team lock down an account quickly, investigate and restore the account to the rightful owner.
  • We've taken legal action to pull down online posts of gamertags, usernames and passwords gathered from malware or phishing schemes to help protect our members.
  • Our Xbox Live Spring update included many behind the scenes improvements that help us build on security enhancements for the near future.
  • We're sending unique codes to the security phone numbers and secondary email addresses provided by members to verify authorization for Xbox.com purchases or account change attempts not stemming from a member's trusted device.
  • We're working to reduce market incentives for criminal activity. Engaging in identity theft, trading in stolen accounts and committing credit card fraud are illegal and violate our Terms of Use. Those involved in these activities risk criminal prosecution, account and console bans. That goes for both sellers and buyers of known stolen accounts and content.

"Most importantly, many of our security enhancements and recovery processes are dependent on our members having valid, up-to-date security information in place," Garden noted.

"I encourage everyone to take five minutes today to check your security information and update it if necessary. If you have any lost or stolen security proofs, update them now to prevent any interruptions to your Xbox Live service in the future. We only use this information for your security, and never for marketing or advertising."

Garden suggested users change their passwords and use different usernames and passwords for Microsoft versus other online services.

"The Internet has transformed the way we purchase goods and services and added layers of convenience to our lives. Yet, disappointingly, online fraud increasingly victimizes millions of unsuspecting consumers each year," said Garden.

"That is why our resolve at Microsoft to battle fraud and our commitment to account security is stronger than ever. I hope you'll take a few moments to protect your account today."

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