Facebook has added a new security feature – which may help hacked users regain access to their accounts. The new feature allows users to log in even if they have also lost access to their email account and cannot initiate a password reset.
The feature relies on a list of friends nominated by site users themselves, and known as Trusted Contacts. Each user can select three to five “Trusted Contacts” from their friends. These contacts can get them into their account if they are locked out.
“In 2011, we began testing Trusted Friends which lets your friends help you if you’re having trouble logging into your account,” the social site said this week. “Recently, we have redesigned and improved Trusted Friends, and it has a new name: Trusted Contacts.”
Site users can read Facebook’s explanation of the new feature here.
“With trusted contacts, there’s no need to worry about remembering the answer to your security question or filling out long web forms to prove who you are. You can recover your account with help from your friends,” Facebook said.
“Choose people you trust, like friends you’d give a spare key to your house,” says the site. Facebook recommends that site users call or meet in person, rather than using email.
“You just need to call your trusted contacts and let them know you need their help to regain access to your account,” the site said. “Each of them can get a security code for you with instructions on how to help you. Once you get three security codes from your trusted contacts, you can enter them into Facebook to recover your account.”
Facebook has been frequently criticised over security and privacy. A list of WeLiveSecurity articles involving Facebook’s security issues can be found here. ESET also offers a detailed guide to how to use Facebook safely.
Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security