Microsoft has decided to drop Messenger in favor of Skype after it purchased the company last year. Since there is no reason to have two messenging services, Microsoft will be moving users over to Skype. They have already updated Skype to allow users to sign in with their current Microsoft password. Plans are to phase it out completely by the end of the first quarter in 2013.
Microsoft had to update the ability to reset passwords in Skype after the revelation of a flaw in its system allowed hackers access with just an email address. The company apologized on its blog to the small number of users that may have been impacted by this issue.
The situation was brought to everyone’s attention by a report from a Russian-language forum where a post stated that hijackers could easily gain access to Skype if they had the user’s email address. All they would have to do is create a new account on Skype with the email address and then ask for a password reset to get access to the account.
Microsoft has fixed the issue now and everyone is once again secure on the system. However, one way to protect yourself in the future or with any account that uses your email address as part of the authentication is to use an unknown email address. You can set up a new account with an address that is not easily guessed and only use that address for account recognition. Don’t use it on Facebook, don’t send emails to your friends or family, and don’t list it on LinkedIn. Only use it to verify accounts to protect yourself from this kind of thing happening again.
While this news overshadowed the excitement of Microsoft’s news, it is still an exciting merger for the two companies. Microsoft promises that this will mean better service as users can contact cell and landline phones from anywhere.
[Image via techin5]