Hotmail versus the hackers

Good old Hotmail. It may not be the most sophisticated of the big webmail services - not by a long shot - but we reckon it still has a certain retro charm. And every now and then, they come up with a really good feature.

Like these new anti-spam features. As we all know, lots of the spam we receive comes not from spambots, but from our email contacts - when their accounts have been hacked, often by a virus on their computers.

So Hotmail have added a nifty feature where, if you receive mail from your friends which is clearly spam, you can click a link to say 'I think my friend's been hacked!'

Then, next time someone tries to log into your friend's account, they'll have to jump through a few hoops to get in - enough to hopefully block the account from all but the original owners.

As Engadget explains:

'When you mark a missive as junk, you can likewise click a box that reads: "I think this person was hacked!" Once that's done, the spammers are kicked to the curb, and your friend is put through an "account recovery flow" the next time they attempt to log in. On the prevention front, Hotmail will soon roll out a new service that blocks users from selecting common passwords. It might not be enough to coax us over, but maybe this time the other guys could learn a few lessons.'

We couldn't have put it better ourselves.

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