Hotmail Sign in options and security settings

As you may know from Hotmail Sign in, the authentication form you use when you try to login to your Windows Live Hotmail account and check your emails contains several options: some of these are designed for home use, and make it more convenient to use (like how to automatically sign in to Hotmail), and some are security settings created to protect the safety of your account when multiple people are using the same computer, or for example when you sign in to Hotmail from a public computer. This page gives you a quick overview of the Hotmail sign in screen and login options you will find.


Hotmail sign in options

Here are the two options Windows Live Hotmail offers from the blank sign in page, pictured below:

Blank Windows Live Hotmail sign in screen

Tip: if you uncheck the "Remember me" checkbox, it will automatically uncheck the "Remember my password" checkbox, since Hotmail cannot login with only a password - it needs your "Windows Live ID" (email address) as well.

Security settings for the Hotmail sign in screen

Windows Live Hotmail gives you access to several security settings when you login to your account. We will give you a brief overview of these in the following paragraphs.

Use enhanced security (SSL) - By default, you sign in to your Hotmail email account using a standard "HTTP" (unencrypted) connection. But you can also login with "enhanced security", using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) which will make it nearly impossible for a hacker to decrypt information sent between your web browser and Microsoft Hotmail's web servers. To use the more secure login option, simply click on the "Use enhanced security (SSL)" link at the bottom of the sign in form, as shown below:

Login to Hotmail through the secure sign in formTip: the Windows Live team has released quite a few updates in the summer of 2011, one of which is to force the Sign in Page to load securely ("https"), which makes it much more difficult to hack into a Hotmail account.

Request temporary password access - Another security feature included in the Hotmail sign in process is the "single-use code" that you can supply instead of your regular password when you are checking your Hotmail emails from a less secure location, such as a public computer at school, work, the library, etc. Once you have added a cell phone to your Hotmail profile, you can request a sign in code for the login form: since the code can only be used once, your account is not in danger if someone gets a hold of it.

Login to Windows Live Hotmail using a single-use sign in code for extra security

For more detailed information on each of these topics, please see:

Hotmail Sign in from a public computer
Login to Hotmail with a single-use sign in code
Automatically sign in to Hotmail (skip login screen)
Sign in to Hotmail with secure option (SSL)
Configure "Connect with HTTPS" settings
Tutorial last updated on November 26, 2011
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