A guide to setting up Xbox Live Security Proofs

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I received a message from Xbox Live this week, letting me know that security proofs are being made mandatory. Yes, the message is legitimate and is really from Microsoft. I had a post before which had a video explaining security proofs and a link to the page where you set them up. Unfortunately, Microsoft has taken down the video. I’ve recently found this newer video on Xbox Supprt, but who knows when that’ll change as well. So, to help you out, below the video, I’ll walk you through setting up a few security proofs!

Quickly, what are security proofs? These are a way that you can PROVE you are the owner of an account. They should be questions that can only be answered by you, not something I can look up in your profile or on Facebook. Say one day you try to sign in to Xbox Live and your password has been changed – because someone guessed it, or someone you trusted with it has locked you out (trust no one!). Using Security Proofs, you can prove you are the rightful owner of the account and lock it back down.

  1. Visit http://accounts.live.com/proofs.
  2. Sign in with your Microsoft Account (Windows Live ID).
  3. Click Edit security info beneath the list of Trusted PCs.
    These are your security proofs.
  4. Add a real phone number (if adding a cell phone and not a landline, you can be texted a passcode if you’re ever locked out of your account).
  5. Alternate email addresses
  6. – many ‘hacks’ take place by compromising a central email account, and from there resetting passwords on everything from Xbox Live, to bank accounts, to PayPal and eBay… having an alternate email address is a good way to have a password reset sent there to get you back in.

  7. Add trusted PCs: any Windows 8 computer you are logged in to automatically becomes a Trusted PC, and you have the option of adding more – if the Microsoft website can properly identify your computer, you have a better chance of proving your identity and resetting your passwords.
  8. Security question:
  9. the classic security method. Most often the weakest link, try to make the answer to the question something that can’t be looked up on your social networks! Even better, make the answer completely non sequitur. Who was your childhood best friend? Watermelon. Who was your favorite teacher? Watermelon. City where your mother was born? Watermelon. Using this technique, nobody could guess the answer to your security question.

    Good luck out there!