Microsoft To Bolster Security for Outlook Personal Accounts

As part of Microsoft's ongoing Microsoft Secure Future Initiative (SFI), the company is readying three new security enhancements for Outlook personal accounts. The updates, effective in the latter half of 2024, aim to enhance protection against unauthorized access, tampering, and data loss.

First up will be the deprecation of Basic Authentication for personal accounts using, and Starting Sept. 16, users on those services will be required to move to Modern Authentication methods, which provide additional backend security processes and tokens, making it more difficult for bad actors to capture login information and access personal data, according to the company.

"With Modern Authentication methods we apply additional backend process/tokens that users may not notice that add an extra layer of security," wrote Microsoft's David Los in a blog post. "Anyone who is attempting to use an application which does not support modern authentication will no longer be able to access their, Hotmail or email from those applications."

Microsoft said the easiest way to get ready for the Sept. 16 date is to switch to the Outlook app on Windows, iOS and Android, or access Outlook through a Microsoft 365 subscription.

Next, Microsoft will be halting support for both the Mail and Calendar apps by the end of this year, directing users to find the same functionality in the Outlook for Windows app. Microsoft said the app will provide advanced security features, like improved junk mail filtering and Modern Authentication, that aren't found in the older stand-alone apps. Further, it comes with user features like rich text editing and Copilot integration (both not available in the stand-alone apps).

Finally, effective Aug. 19, the light version of the Outlook Web application will no longer be supported. This version was previously offered for users with older browsers. Moving forward, users will need to access through modern browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera.

Microsoft also announced the upcoming retirement of two additional Outlook features:

  • End of support for access to Gmail accounts via on June 30.
  • Deprecation of Cortana integration in Outlook features by the end of June.

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.


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