Microsoft is working hard to improve the reputation of its Internet Explorer (IE) web browser and is set to raise the security bar even higher in version 9 currently under development.
In this podcast interview, John Scarrow, general manager of Safety Services at Microsoft, speaks to Computer Weekly about the latest and coming security enhancements to IE and Windows Live Hotmail.
Scarrow says helping users avoid social engineering attacks is an important area of focus in IE8 and will continue to be an area of innovation.
"IE8 blocks an average of three million attacks a day that use social engineering techniques to lure people into downloading bad things," he said.
Microsoft expects social engineering attacks to increase as browsers and other technologies become more secure.
"The user is becoming the easiest target for cybercriminals," he said, "so browsers have to start providing more information to enable them to make trust decisions."
The security improvements in Microsoft's Hotmail web-based e-mail service are concentrated on helping users manage what Scarrow terms "grey-mail".
"Two thirds of what people call spam is actually marketing material they have opted in to and may want to keep, but would like to move out of their inbox," he said.
In addition to automatic spam controls, Microsoft has developed new and easy explicit controls to enable users to manage this grey-mail, said Scarrow.
Microsoft has also included a one-time-passcode facility to guard against the theft of login credentials for Hotmail.