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Chapter 9. Browsing the World Wide Web w... > Getting a Passport to Microsoft Coun...

Getting a Passport to Microsoft Country

Using MSN Explorer is only one reason to get a Microsoft Passport. These days, Microsoft requires the use of the Passport to use several of their sites and services, including MSN Calendar, MSN Messenger, MSN Communities, MSN Wallet, and more. If you already have a Hotmail or MSN email address, you already have a Passport. If not, you can get a Microsoft Passport simply by signing up for a free Hotmail address at www.hotmail.com. Parents may be comforted to learn that a Kids Passport is also available, which can help parents protect the online identity of their children.

However, some might be understandably concerned that Passport is yet another way Microsoft is trying to invade our space and privacy to increase its profits. You can minimize the effect by entering the bare minimum of personal information when you sign up for a Passport. We were able to sign up using a single letter for a first name and last name. You also must enter a birth year and a ZIP code, but the Microsoft stormtroopers are not going to knock down your door in the middle of the night if you don't enter it truthfully. Personally, I'd avoid using Microsoft Wallet—I just don't want my credit card information floating around, regardless of how secure Microsoft says it is.


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