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Updated Microsoft Authenticator simplifies secure log-ins on Android, iOS phones

A new, simplified two-factor verification sign-in feature for phones that eliminates the need for passwords or one-time code entries is now officially available for Microsoft account-holders.

This new feature for the Microsoft Authenticator app, which works on Android and iOS, sends device owners a notification whenever they attempt to sign in, rather than a one-time code that must be entered. Users simply must tap an "Approve" button to access their accounts.

To get started, users must first add their accounts to the app, then enter their usernames whenever signing in from somewhere new.

"This process is easier than standard two-step verification and significantly more secure than only a password, which can be forgotten, phished, or compromised," wrote ‎Alex Simons, partner director of program management at Microsoft's identity division, in a company blog post.

The feature does not yet work on the Windows Phone, noted Microsoft, because the company is strategically concentrating first on the more popular, high-scale iOS and Android platforms. Windows Phone currently represents less than five percent of active Microsoft Authenticator users, the company explained.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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