While the Hotmail sign-in process has been secured using SSL, the transfer of e-mail wasn't, Microsoft said.
To enable the security feature, users visit their account settings page. Once users enable HTTPS, all of their future connections to Hotmail will be delivered over SSL, wrote Dick Craddock, group program manager for Windows Live Hotmail, in a blog post about the feature.
He also said that the SkyDrive, Photos, Docs and Devices pages now automatically use SSL encryption.
Microsoft follows Google by years in offering the secure option. In mid-2008, Google first started offering Gmail users the option to use secure connections. Earlier this year, following attacks on Google originating in China that included hacking into Gmail accounts of China human rights activists, Google turned on HTTPS for all Gmail users by default.