How to keep your account from getting hacked
Set a strong password
What for: So you do not get hacked.
If you are using a short and simple password, cybercriminals can guess it and steal your account. A long and complex password is more secure. Use a strong password that:
- Is at least 8 characters long,
- Contains lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters ($, @, etc.),
- Is not an actual word or easy-to-guess phrase,
- Is not the same as your passwords for any other accounts,
- Does not consist of information that strangers could easily find out (your name, date of birth, pet's name, and so forth — or those of your friends or relatives).
To change your Skype password:
- Click your profile picture;
- Select Settings;
- Select Your profile to open your profile management page;
- Click Change password;
- Enter the current password for your Skype account (it’s the same as the password for your Microsoft account);
- Select how you want to receive the one-time code — by e-mail, text message, or other means;
- Enter the code you receive and click Confirm;
- Enter your current Skype password;
- Enter a new strong password twice;
- Click Save.
Note: Your Microsoft account is used to sign in to Skype, so its password will also be changed.
Enable two-factor authentication
What for: So you’re even less likely to get hacked.
Two-factor authentication protects your account even if hackers know your username and password. You will have to enter a one-time code whenever you sign in to your Skype account. The code can be received by text message or e-mail, or generated by an app.
You sign in to Skype with your Microsoft account credentials, so enable two-factor authentication for this account:
- In your browser, open your Microsoft account page at https://account.microsoft.com/;
- Go to the Security section;
- Select More security options;
- Click Set up two-step verification.
- Read the information about two-step verification and click Next;
- You will be prompted to download Microsoft Authenticator or to set up a different app for receiving authentication codes.
To use Microsoft Authenticator:
- Click Get it now;
- When the download page opens, click Get the app and choose a convenient source for your download: Google Play, App Store, or a link in a text message.
To use a different app, such as Google Authenticator, click set up a different Authenticator app and follow the instructions.
If you do not want to use an app, you can receive two-factor authentication codes by text message or e-mail. To do so, on the page prompting you to install Microsoft Authenticator:
- Click Cancel;
- You will be prompted to create a separate password for the Outlook app on your smartphone. This will improve the security of your account (useful if you want to receive the codes by e-mail through mobile Outlook). To create a password, click the link for your mobile device's operating system and follow the instructions;
- Click Next;
- If you use other Microsoft services and products, such as an Xbox 360 account or the desktop Outlook app, carefully read the on-screen instructions for creating a temporary password for these accounts. Note: After enabling two-factor authentication, you will not be able to use these services until you create a temporary password for them. You can create or change a temporary password in the More security options section of your Microsoft account at https://account.live.com/proofs/manage/additional;
- Click Done to turn on two-factor authentication. You do not need to enter your phone number or e-mail address: Number and e-mail from your account will be used, and you can choose between a text message and an e-mail each time you sign in.
After this, the system will prompt you for a security code whenever you sign in to Skype or other accounts linked to your Microsoft account.