Outlook.com mail: security worries.

Discussion in 'iPad Mini Forum' started by AnnEmily, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. AnnEmily

    AnnEmily
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    My husband and I are complete newbies with Apple. On our mini, one of our first steps has been to set up the mail account so that we can fetch our mail from Outlook.com. No problem now accessing our mail on the ipad. BUT... we are now worried: the Microsoft password we've had to provide to set up the mail account on the mini is the one that gives access to our Windows laptop which holds all our data. How secure is our password now? Or should we have done this otherwise?
     
  2. twerppoet

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    You shouldn't re-use passwords. Change one of them. The laptop password would probably the be easier of the two.

    If your Outlook password get compromised, it's probably just darn inconvenient. However, if it's also the password for you laptop, and perhaps other even more sensitive accounts, then you've left yourself wide open.

    This isn't so much about how securely the iPad stores the password. It does an excellent job. But email accounts get compromised all the time, usually on the provider's side or by social engineering (you make a mistake).

    A good password app can be handy for keeping track of you've various passwords. Some, like 1Password, will sync across several computers and devices, and can even enter your passwords into websites for your. That way you only need to remember one main password, to unlock 1Password, but still have the security of a unique password for all your accounts and computers/devices.
     
  3. AnnEmily

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    oh gosh, we feel so out of our depth not knowing the first thing about the ipad system. We are mighty glad to hear the ipad stores passwords safely. However, for the reasons you mention we still feel quite uneasy. Sadly the Microsoft password that accesses our Outlook.com mail account *has* to be the same as the one that is associated with our Windows 8 account, so by providing the ipad with our Microsoft password we might put our data on the laptop at risk. To be really safe there might be no other solution but to delete the Outlook account from the ipad (damn!) and start off with a brand new mail service. Thank you for making it obvious to us.
     
  4. J. A.

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    You'd need an app specific password, if you enable 2 step verification for the Outlook account. It wouldn't be the same as the one on your computer. You can find information about this feature if you access the Outlook account online, in the account itself, or just search for "Outlook 2 step verification".

    In case you use the email account as your Apple ID: you don't need the same password there. It's also possible to change that password after setting up the ID.
     
  5. twerppoet

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    I'm sorry. That's simply not true. There is absolutely no reason why the computer and Outlook password need to be the same. You or a friend may have set it up that way to keep things simple, but the two are not connected in any way.

    A computer pasword logs you into the computer. It may also be needed to install new software on the computer (if it's an admin account). That's it. It has absolutely no affect on what online services (including email) that you log into.

    Depending on how you access your email on the computer the password will be entered in that app or website. The computer does not pass on it's password authentication to other programs or websites. That would be a security nightmare. One little break in the chain, and everything would be compromised.

    The main risk to your computer does not come from the iPad. It comes from the Outlook account's password being the same as your computer. The most likely place for that password to become compromised is the Outlook account, not the iPad. That's because unlike the iPad or your computer hackers don't need access to you device to try and guess or steal the password. All they have to do is attack the email servers.

    If you don't understand this yourself, get a friend who does. They will know how to change one or both passwords. It will not affect the other.

    Again. It's not the iPad or having your Outlook password on the iPad that is the problem. It's the password on the computer and for your email being the same. It was a big risk before you bought the iPad, and it will remain the same amount of risky if you don't have the account on the iPad.
     
  6. twerppoet

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    I've thought about this a bit more, and there is one situation in which your computer username and password are the same as your account. That is if your computer is part of a network; business, enterprise, education, etc. In that case you don't so much have a computer as you have a user on the network.

    If your main email account is also being served by that network then it will have the same password. But that would mean that your email address is being provided by that network/business, not by an external service like hotmail, outlook.com, etc.

    I suppose there might be a kind of halfway house sort of thing going on with a network that used Office 365 subscription services.

    Anyway, it's possible I'm wrong about the computer vs online password. I don't think I am, because it sounds like you're using a personal computer, but if I am, I want to make one thing perfectly clear.

    Having the account and password on the iPad only makes you less secure if you are walking around without password protecting the iPad. In that case if someone who gets ahold of your iPad they could look at your email. They could probably even use your email provider's password recover process to change the email password.

    What they could not do is retrieve the password from the iPad. It's not stored in the clear. Once entered, account passwords on the iPad are encrypted. They can not be viewed or retrieved. Which makes it a real pain if you forget them and don't have them recorded (in a safe place) elsewhere.
     
  7. J. A.

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    If it's a Windows 8 laptop, the password to open it has to be the one for the account, or else you don't have access to it. You have to sign in with the Microsoft email account. Windows 8 is connected to the account, if you want to use all it's features.

    There are methods to change the options to sign in, you can set it to PIN or fingerprint, or even skip the password, but if you stay with the usual method, or when you set up or use Windows 8 for the first time, it has to be the password from the account.

    Edit: I'm talking about personal computers here.
     
    #7 J. A., Dec 5, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  8. twerppoet

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    That's insane. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket.
     
  9. J. A.

    J. A.
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    One of the reasons why I changed from Windows 8 back to Windows 7 on my laptop at home.
     
  10. twerppoet

    twerppoet
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    Now I'm thankful I never upgraded Mom's computer. Not that she would have let me. She's a bit change adverse.

    After two years of having an iPhone and iPad I have just about talked her into a Mac Mini, whenever the laptop finally breaks.
     

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