Sunday, October 26, 2014

Make your Outlook.com account more secure with Two-step verification

This two-step verification has been there since quite some time now but recently someone queried about how to enhance security of their Mail, as they are coming across more and more reports of accounts being hacked. So this post talks a bit about one of the ways of keeping ones account as secure as possible.

Two-step verification is an optional extra layer of security for your Outlook.com account. Two-step verification protects your Outlook.com account by making it more difficult for a hacker to sign-in even if he somehow knows your password. When this is enabled, you’ll see an extra page every time you sign in on a new or unfamiliar device or a device that isn't trusted*. On this page you’ll be prompted for entering a security code which will be sent to your phone or to the alternate email ID which you had provided earlier. This can also be obtained through an authenticator app on your smartphone (the official Microsoft authenticator can be found on Windows Phone and Android).

How to set up two-step verification in Outlook.com:

  • Sign-in to your Outlook.com account. Click on the settings icon(Gear icon) > options

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  • Click ‘Account details (password, addresses, time zone)’ > Security & privacy

you might be asked to sign-in again as you are accessing sensitive info

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  • Click on ‘Set up two-step verification’ and just follow the instructions.That’s all.

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*Just below that you can also see option for Trusted device.

“When you try to view or edit sensitive info related to your Microsoft account—like your credit card details—we might ask you for a security code first, to make sure that only you can get in to your account. But you can designate a PC as a trusted device. On trusted devices, you don't need to enter a security code each time you try to access sensitive info.”

Now coming back to two-step verification, some apps, like mail apps on some smartphones or devices like Xbox 360 can't prompt you to enter a security code when you try to sign in.

If you get an incorrect password error with an app or device, you'll need to create a unique app password to sign in. Once you've signed in with your app password, you're all set to use that app or device. You'll need to create and sign in with an app password once for each app or device that can't prompt you for a security code.

To get a unique app password, you have the ‘Create a new app password’ option under App password under ‘Security & privacy ‘ along with the Set up two-step verification. & this App password can then be entered into app or device that can’t send security codes.

So ensure an extra security layer with two-step verification for your Outlook.com account.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Media Center and Windows 10 Technical Preview

If you are one of those who have joined the Windows Insider program and installed trying out Windows 10 Technical Preview (TP), then you should not add Media Center product key. If you add then System Properties will show it as “Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center” and will say  Windows is not activated.

And not only this, using a purchased product key will also prevent you from getting updates and future builds for Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Microsoft in the Answers Community forum had replied in one of the queries:

We apologize for not catching this before we launched Tech Preview; we did not intend for you to be able to use a purchased product key on a preview build.

We do not recommend adding Media Center to Windows 10 Technical Preview as using a purchased product key will also prevent you from getting updates and future builds for Windows 10 Technical Preview.

To make sure you get updates for Tech Preview, we recommend that you download the ISO file and perform an in-place upgrade to re-install Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Microsoft Universal Mobile keyboard- switch between iPad, Android and Windows devices

Microsoft has introduced Universal Mobile keyboard for your tablets and Smartphones. And you can be on any OS, be it your iPad, iPhone, Android device or your Windows tablet, you can easily switch between them with a flick of a switch! Pair with up to 3 devices with different operating systems and easily switch between them.

“The compact and light weight design of the Universal Mobile Keyboard was built with portability in mind with its protective cover and built-in stand that holds your tablet or smartphone. Just flip the cover open to power-up and make a Bluetooth connection, then set your device into the integrated stand—you'll be typing in seconds. Shutting down is just as fast. Simply close the cover to turn off the keyboard—it's that easy. The rechargeable battery provides up to 6 months of usage on a single charge. But if you're ever low on power when you're heading out, don't worry—just do a 10 minute quick charge and you'll have plenty of power for a full day's work. “

There is no dedicated Windows specific key but dedicated keys for Android and a CMD for Apple users. So people can use shortcuts found in respective OS. umk4

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Check the demo video:

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard
For more details please check here.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

[TIP] Secure OneDrive with PIN on your Android Phone

Many OneDrive users had suggested that they want some kind of password protection for their OneDrive on Smartphones. These users wanted to prevent other people who might also be using their device to have access to the files on OneDrive who may accidentally delete or change file on OneDrive.

Now with the latest OneDrive update, this security feature has been provided. Now OneDrive users can set up a 4 digit code which has to be entered when OneDrive app is opened on phones. This setting up a PIN is a good feature addition.

But as of now this Security PIN feature has been provided only for OneDrive Android app. OneDrive team has hinted that this feature will be made available on Windows Phone and iOS platform too.

How to set up security PIN on Android:

  • After updating your OneDrive app. Open OneDrive app .
  • Go to Settings on the app bar by tapping on those 3 dots at bottom right,
  • tap on Settings to open Settings page
  • Switch ON ‘Required code to use app’
  • Enter 4 digit code , so this PIN code will be required whenever you open OneDrive app.

OneDriveAndroidPIN

So if you are an OneDrive Android user, secure OneDrive by enabling this feature.

UPDATE: As it was mentioned above, OneDrive team has now added this security feature to iOS too. Hoping it to soon see on Windows Phone too.

The latest OneDrive update, provides PIN code , Touch ID and sorting features for OneDrive for iOS app. Using fingerprint to sign-in feature has been added after including the brand new Touch ID API in iOS 8. So these features only available on iPhones, iPods  having iOS 8.

PINiOSOneDrive

Now waiting for OneDrive team to provided this PIN code feature on Windows Phone..

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Akamai DM or Microsoft FTM fails to initiate in IE11 for MSDN, TechNet downloads

Earlier we had seen how to initiate the Akamai Download manager for MSDN, TechNet downloads in our earlier article : Akamai Download Manager fail to start in MSDN / TechNet downloads . Many of the readers were using the method mentioned there. But recently many users starting to find that the method was not working for them. They were using the latest version of Windows with Internet Explorer, that Windows 8.1 Update with IE11.0.11. And when they pressed the Download button of MSDN, TechNet subscriber downloads, nothing happens. So this workaround I have tried on this ver and it works for me! This method is same for using Akamai Download manager or the Microsoft File Transfer manager (FTM)

So here’s the workaround. Open your MSDN, TechNet page in IE11. Press F12 to open Developer tools. Or you can press Tools > F12 Developer Tools. Now from Emulation (Ctrl+8) , change Document Mode to 9 , User Agent String to Internet Explorer 9

IE11F12

Once you do this, your open page will reload. Minimize this Developer tool. Now again login to your required page of MSDN, TechNet download and now when you press ‘Download’ button of your required download from the site, you’ll get the pop up either to install the add-on or a Security pop up window to allow Microsoft FTM. So accordingly click ‘Install’ or press ‘Allow’ . Similar window pops-up for Microsoft FTM. Have noticed that if Akamai doesn’t gets initiated, Microsoft FTM add-on will be asked to install. So Install it and Allow it to open web content

IE11F12Akamai

Now it launches the download manager and you can start your download. Please note that if you want to resume the paused download, you’ll have to emulate again to Internet Explorer 9 as said earlier as we have not persisted with Emulation Settings.

Hope this helps.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

[FIX] OneDrive is starting up… OneDrive systray icon’s wrong status in Windows 8.1

In June one of the Windows optional update ‘Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB2962409)’ contained long list of fixes as seen in its details. And among the list was KB2965174 titled “OneDrive improvement update for Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1: June 2014” .

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This update just mentions that it includes improvements for Microsoft OneDrive in Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1 without elaborating what the improvements are. When you install it, adds various OneDive options as we can see in the OneDrive icon in the Systray – providing option to Pause Sync, troubleshooting, settings and other options.

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But this update had an issue of showing the systray blue Sync icon which continues to say ‘OneDrive is starting up…’, even though OneDrive status is Up to date as can be seen here. There was no issue in actual syncing but the icon and status shown were wrong.

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Lots of OneDrive users had posted about it and Microsoft too was aware of it and was working on it and had mentioned that “Microsoft is aware of this issue and our product group is working on it. As soon as we have a fix, it will be rolled through Windows Updates….”

And with latest Windows Update released on 22nd seems to correct this issue. The update is "Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB2980654) " received via Windows Update.

When you check for details about the update, its http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2980654 and it says "OneDrive reliability update for Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1" . So check for this reliability update and see if its already installed or can check it from the link given above. While the update for Windows RT 8.1 can be obtained only via Windows Update.

So installing this update corrects the wrong status icon shown in systray. Please note that this update corrects only this icon issue, if you are having actual syncing issue,this update may not resolve and you might have to try the troubleshooting or some other option.

After installing this update users have reported that it has solved their Wrong status icon issue. For me too it has resolved the issue. This is the version after installing the update.

OneDrivver

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Free Microsoft eBooks largest collection, lots of new books added now

Microsoft has been providing Free e-books from time to time on wide range of topics. It includes books for developers, IT Pros or consumers.  These books have been blogged about at their respective subject blogs or on Microsoft Press blog which also informs about the new books whether free or otherwise.

If you didn’t knew, Eric Ligman, Microsoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager has been compiling links to Free Microsoft e-books since few years. And he updates them regularly. In these years he had posted about nearly 150 FREE Microsoft eBooks. In his latest post he now compiles and shared a post with over 130 more FREE eBooks, Step-By-Steps, Resource Guides, etc. And in this new post he also includes links to the free eBooks he had shared in the past. This makes it one of the largest collection of Free e-books from Microsoft.

He has put them all neatly categorized as Windows, Office, Dynamics, Power Shell, System Center, Lync, Azure, Others…

ebooks01

Many Books on programming, Windows 7 etc… from the past year

 ebooks02

 

Here’s the link to the Free Microsoft e-books treasure: Largest collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks ever, including: Windows 8.1, Windows 8….

If you don’t want to miss any of the Free resources Eric posts, then one can get this Windows Phone app Apart from books this also includes lots of other Microsoft resource feeds. Or one can scan this to get the app Scanapp

Hope you’ll find your book of your interest, so just start downloading them , many of the books are provided in multiple formats, so get the format you want them in. Thanks Eric for this nice compilation!