Suppose Microsoft has reason to believe that a Microsoft account has been compromised, i.e., fallen into the wrong hands. In that case, this account will be locked. In such a case, the rightful owner may contact support and will be asked to proceed to the recovery process. During this recovery, a lot of information will be required.
While this article is triggered by the vexed topic of the recently very numerous and presumably very often unauthorized suspensions. Every Microsoft account owner should be familiar with this process and know the procedure. This allows you to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
In this context, I would like to make an urgent appeal: use two-factor authentication! Anyone who has not yet set it up should do so immediately.
Let’s move on to the recovery option I mentioned earlier: The purpose of which is to collect as much information as possible to identify the rightful owner. If you don’t have certain information on hand, you can leave it out, but at the same time, this reduces the chances of a good recovery. Suppose you do not have an Xbox or do not use Skype. In that case, you cannot logically provide anything on these points. Still, the available and verifiable data should be as complete as possible.
Some of the information you will not be able to give because you do not have access to your account. Therefore, it may be wise to save this information separately and update it from time to time.
Information Required By Microsoft
- Date of birth
- Country / Region
- Region / State
- Post Code
- Skype username
- Four e-mail addresses from the personal address book
- The subject of four emails sent from this account
- Five names from the Skype contact list
- Four phone numbers dialed via Skype
- Four IP addresses from which the account was personally accessed
- The date the Microsoft account was created
- Date of the last successful login
- Date of the last password change
- Alternative email addresses or telephone numbers that are stored in the account
- Location where the account was created
- Recent hardware or software purchases made with this account
- The last four digits of the credit card saved as a means of payment
- Expiry date of the credit card on file
- Xbox GamerTags associated with the account
- Linked Xbox console serial number
- Xbox One or Xbox 360 device ID
Tips on the Requested Information:
Mail addresses, subject lines, Skype contacts – these are the things that can be determined very easily, it does not have to be the latest information either.
You can see the place, time and the IP addresses of logins to your Microsoft account on this page: https://account.live.com/Activity.
The date of the last password change, which is also requested, can be found on this page: https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage/additional
You can find your purchase history here: https://account.microsoft.com/billing/orders/
The device ID of the Xbox One can be found in the settings under “Console information”, on the Xbox 360 the item is called “System information”
Last but not least: Make sure that the security information such as additional email address or telephone number is always up to date: https://account.live.com/proofs/manage/
I recommend that you create such a data set. Keep it in a safe place and check or update the data at regular intervals. Doing this will make it easy to recover your Microsoft account.