In October, we took the first step in making Microsoft accounts the preferred way to sign in to Bing Ads. Since making this change, we’ve received a number of questions from advertisers and agencies about the best way to manage the transition without disruption. This post is intended to share some best practices for transitioning to a Microsoft account.
1.) Bring Your Own Email Address
A common misconception is that you need to get a new email address to create a Microsoft account, however, this is not the case. As you'll see below, you can use your existing email address instead of getting a new email address from outlook.com or hotmail.com.
Care should be taken when deciding whether to use an existing personal email account versus your work email. On the one hand, it is efficient to be signed in to Bing Ads when signed into other Microsoft properties such as Outlook.com, SkyDrive or on a Windows 8 device with your personal email account. On the other hand, if you are managing Bing Ads campaigns as part of your job at a digital marketing agency or other similar organization, it may be preferable to use a work related email to separate business from personal usage.
NOTE: There are limits to the number of new Microsoft accounts that can be created from a particular location in order to prevent abuse. If your organization is hitting these limits, please work with your account manager who can ensure that those limits are waived for your organization.
2.) Add Security Information to Your Account
In the coming months, Bing Ads customers will go through two-step verification (also known as two-factor authentication) when logging in with a Microsoft account. This provides added security to your account by requiring a security code in addition to your user name and password when accessing your Bing Ads account from any device that you haven’t previously authorized as a trusted device.
Once two-step verification is enabled, you will see the following dialog when logging in with a Microsoft account:
The alternate email address and phone number used for two-step verification are the ones associated with your Microsoft account. It is strongly recommended that you go to the security info management page to provide an email address and phone number(s) where you’d like to receive security codes when going through two step verification. This will ensure that you continue to have seamless access to your account when the change requiring two step verification on sign-ins from new devices occurs in the summer of 2014.
As shown in the screenshot below, you can add multiple alternate phone numbers and email addresses:
3.) Add a Recovery Code to Your Microsoft Account
Earlier, I mentioned that two-step verification would require an alternate email address or phone number so that you can receive a code that is used when signing in from a device you have not identified as ‘trusted’. We understand that in certain cases you may lose access to your security information, for example, if you lose your mobile phone. To address this scenario, you can create a recovery code from the security info management page which can be used as a fallback mechanism if you have lost access to your phone or alternate email account.
Your recovery code is like a spare key to your house, so make sure you store it in a safe place. You can only request one recovery code at a time. Requesting a new code cancels the old one.
4.) Do Not Share Sign-In Information with Others
In certain cases, we’ve seen situations where multiple people share sign-in information for a single Bing Ads user account. This practice will encounter challenges once the transition to Microsoft accounts is completed. As mentioned above, Bing Ads will require two step verification which will involve sending codes to your alternate email address or phone number. If multiple people share a Microsoft account, they will also need to share the email address or phone number where the two step verification codes are received. For most people, that will be a problem.
Our recommendation is that each person who will manage campaigns in Bing Ads should create a Microsoft account. Whenever a person needs to be given access to manage your Bing Ads campaigns, follow the steps below to give them access
i. Go to the Accounts & Billing tab.
ii. Select the Users tab, and then click on “Invite User.”
iii. Enter the name of the user you want to invite and the Microsoft account email he or she will use to sign in to Bing Ads
5.) Keep an Eye on Your Recent Sign-In Activity
Microsoft account was recently added a recent activity page which shows account sign-in activity including time, location, browser and device or app from which the sign-ins occurred.
It is always a good idea to check this page every once in a while to ensure that there have been no suspicious attempts to sign in to your account.
Program Manager, Bing Ads Platform