Microsoft will alert their users if they are targeted for government related hacking attacks.
“We’re committed to helping our users keep their personal information secure and private. A key part of our work is identifying and preventing unauthorized access to your Microsoft account (including Outlook.com email and OneDrive) by anyone other than you,”
Microsoft vice president Scott Charney said in a blog post on Wednesday.
“We’re taking an additional step today. We will now notify you if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an individual or group working on behalf of a nation state.”
The company previously notified the users if their accounts had been targeted or compromised by a third party and provided proper guidance on taking steps to protect their accounts. After the change in the policy that Microsoft announced on Monday, if the company gets enough evidence that the attacker may be “state-sponsored,” they will notify the users about this because it is likely that the attack could be more sophisticated or more sustained than attacks from cyber criminals and others.
Receiving these kinds of notifications doesn’t always mean that your account has been compromised rather it means that Microsoft has gathered proof of your account being targeted.
However, the company won’t provide detailed or specific information about the attackers or their way of attacking because the evidence that they collect in any active investigation could be sensitive.
The company claims that the change in policy was created to help users protect their data.
According to Microsoft these steps should be taken by everyone to keep their account and online personal information secure:
- Turn on two-step verification
- Use a strong password and change it often
- Watch for suspicious activity on your account
- Be careful of suspicious emails and websites
- Keep your computer software, including your Web browser, up to date and run an up-to-date anti-virus program