Microsoft announced that it’s ending support for linked email accounts in Outlook.com in favor of its aliases feature. The change will start rolling out over the next few months starting in July. Linked accounts were introduced to Hotmail in 2006, and allowed you to check mail from different services and addresses. The primary the company gave for the change is for better security.
In a blog post on the Outlook Blog, Microsoft’s Eric Doerr says one of the reasons for this change is to help increase security of your “digital identity.”
We’ve found that quite often, people who use linked accounts keep their primary account’s security info (including password and proofs) up to date, but don’t lavish as much care on their secondary accounts. It’s easier for a malicious party to compromise one of those secondary accounts, which gives them full access to your primary account.
Outlook.com Forwarding and Aliases
To get ahead of the game on this, it’s recommended that you verify your security information on accounts that are currently linked and set up email forwarding. We’ve shown how to do forwarding in our article: How to Get Gmail in Outlook.com.
Then if you want to use additional addresses with your primary account, you’ll need to set up an alias. Make sure to read our article on how to set up and use Aliases on Outlook.com.
Microsoft will be sending out notifications of the change, and if you sign in with a linked account, a message of the change will also be displayed. In his post, Eric Doerr says: “I know it’s a hassle to make changes when you have a setup that works. We wouldn’t ask you to do this if it wasn’t important for your security.” Even so, this will undoubtedly irritate several users.