Microsoft is doing something interesting with their Hotmail accounts. Actually they are in the process of implementing improved security in two ways.

The first is a service they call “My friend has been hacked!”  It appears you can now report an account that appears to have been hacked. Through research they figured out friends often learn about an account being hacked before the actual account owner does. By reporting your friends account has been hacked Microsoft flags the account looking for suspicious activity. If suspicious activity is noted the account is locked until the account owner goes through a process to get the account back.

The second service they plan on rolling out involves requiring complex passwords. This service isn’t new and isn’t as unique of a feature as their first one but a good step from a provider of millions of free email accounts.

We’ve discussed using Hotmail before but these additional services are a step in the right direction to preventing your account from being hacked.  Further reading on the topic can be found at (,2817,2388542,00.asp) and Microsoft (