Last night I had one of those experiences that made me glad that I took my own advice. (Because sometimes I don’t) I received a text from Microsoft letting me know that someone had accessed my Outlook account from a new device. They wanted to know if this person was me. Since it was not, I was able to immediately lock the account. Then I went to my PC to log on and change the password. I had a notice about the unauthorized log-in through my Windows 10 notifications and in the form of an email at my alternate email address.
This quick action was possible because I made sure that Microsoft had a working phone number where they could text me and an alternate email address to contact me in case of an issue. If an account offers you the option to put in a phone number or an alternate email address, make sure you do it. That one simple step can prevent a nightmare.