Sunday, October 17, 2021

Can you work with a Microsoft account?

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The password has been its most prevalent method of security. That is no longer the case.

There is an app that allows you to sign in with your smartphone (you need to own an iPhone) and have your log-in details instantly shared with the Microsoft account that you’re linked to.

Don’t worry about the name of the software: Microsoft doesn’t own the app. It was created by Parallels, a Californian provider of virtual desktop software that allows users to use a remote PC without the connection being broken up.

The app works with a range of other Windows-based services, including file storage service Dropbox and the ubiquitous LinkedIn.

Windows 10 users who already have a Microsoft account automatically are signed in to Microsoft’s servers when they sign up for the app.

Once you’ve linked up your Microsoft account, the application says you’re on the server, but you have to confirm your identity with a one-time password.

The secure part comes in the fact that after granting access, you can log into your account, sign out with the same password, then log back in. However, you will be warned at the beginning that logging out will cause your account to be suspended and that a new password needs to be generated.

As the Terms of Service (TS) on the Microsoft Store website state: “As a condition of using the Windows Client app or having the service provided by Parallels, you agree to pay an account termination fee of $149.99 [£93.60] and a service termination fee of $99.95 (£63.63).”

Parallels says it also offers a similar app for Mac, but it does not integrate with other Mac services – meaning users would need to install an OS X alternative before they could log in.

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