Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Microsoft asked me to change my login

It was the other day when I had opened up Skype for the first time in probably six months in order to contact my daughter in Japan. She had SMSed me asking if we could Skype so I said "yes" and went online on my desktop PC, but after trying unsuccessfully to contact her on Skype a few times I paused to wait for her to get sorted. I assumed she was just starting her PC or something similarly prosaic.

Then Microsoft asked me to log in using my Microsoft email address and password, which was strange as I had never used these login details before apart from when I set up the Microsoft account, and that had been years before. The message on the screen said something about unusual account activity, which I assumed referred to the fact that I had not tried to use Skype for at least half a year, and to the fact that the initial contact attempt to my daughter had failed.

So I referred to my records - it would be impossible to ask someone to keep in their working memory a password that had not been used for several years - and accessed the screen using the Microsoft login details. The screen then told me that it was going to log me out of the session and that I should login again to the PC, but this time using the Microsoft login details. In future, went the implication, my regular session login would be done using the Microsoft login details, rather than the regular password that I had always used for the purpose. I wrote down the new password on a sheet of paper next to my PC and clicked "Next". The computer shut down and restarted.

I logged in successfully using the new password and then went back to Skype in order to initiate a session with my daughter and we talked for over an hour.

Now that I have gotten used to logging in with the new password I have thrown away the piece of paper with the password written on it, but I do wonder what all the malarkey was about. On what grounds had Microsoft assumed that there was suspicious account activity on the PC? I can only wonder for it's obvious to me that nothing was out of place on my desktop. It was all quite routine. Perhaps Microsoft will tell me one day. Maybe ...

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