Hotmail has banned new users from using obvious and common passwords like '123456' and 'password'.

The free Microsoft webmail service has also outlawed over-used phrases like 'ilovecats' from being used as the only thing standing between the bad guys and your emails.

According to Ars Technica, Microsoft is also considering extending the ban to existing Hotmail accounts too.

Security conscious

Microsoft is also rolling out a feature that allows Hotmail users to report if another Hotmail user has been hacked.

Dubbed 'My friend's been hacked!' the tool will then block the infected account and 'your friend' will have to go through the account recovery process to get back into it.

It's clearly a good move for Microsoft to put more effort into making users secure their accounts – it only looks bad for the company if Hotmail accounts are regularly being compromised.

We hope Sony is taking notes.

From Ars Technica