It’s been about 8 months since Microsoft allowed users to opt-in and enable SSL encryption on their hotmail accounts. To date, it appears only about two million users have enabled SSL encryption. I’d like to improve on that number, as there are hundreds of millions of Hotmail users – you know who you are! Here is why you should enable HTTPS. Note: the SSL encryption feature is only applicable to those of you who have Hotmail accounts.
Initially the client apps, Windows Mail (XP isn’t supported :() and Microsoft Outlook didn’t support Hotmail SSL, so users were less likely (and with opting-in) to enable the HTTPS feature. Users could enable SSL in Hotmail but would be unable to use the Windows Mail and Outlook client programs. You can see why users wouldn’t do this.
Microsoft updated SSL protection for Hotmail and Windows Live services last week (7th July) when they expanded the SSL protection to include Windows Mail and Outlook Connector.
- How to enable SSL in Windows Live Mail – you don’t need to opt-in. If you are using the latest version of Mail you will automatically be using SSL. If you don’t have the latest version of Windows Live Mail you will need to download and install.
- How to enable SSL in Outlook Connector which switches Hotmail traffic to SSL – there will no need to opt-in – all you need to do is download the latest version of the Outlook Connector.
Lets also hope that Microsoft is looking into SSL support with Windows Live apps :). The Outlook blog has more information on the HTTPS support for Outlook Hotmail Connector.
Footnote for smartphone users:
Note that, because most feature phones don’t support SSL connections, we still disable connections from those phones if you enable HTTPS. If you are affected by this, Microsoft recommends using Exchange ActiveSync or POP3 from your phone, both of which provide 100% HTTPS connections.
The Learn more about Windows Live and Outlook webpage has a 404 error right now (July 12th) incase you click on it from ‘Outlook Connector’ on the Outlook menu bar.
Safe surfing folks!