To boost security, Facebook adds remote logout

The new feature gives users a way to kick spammers out of their accounts

Facebook users will soon have a new way of knocking spammers out of legitimate accounts.

The social-networking company is rolling out a new security feature that lets users see which computers and devices are logged into their Facebook accounts, and then removing the ones that they don't want to have access.

The move addresses a growing problem on Facebook. Spammers use fake phishing sites to trick Facebook users into entering their usernames and passwords, and then they use those credentials to send spam messages to as many Facebook friends as possible.

This type of spam is often very effective because it looks like it's coming from a trusted source (a Facebook friend), and security experts say that many spammers have now developed automated programs that log into stolen Facebook accounts and send spam. Just last week, scammers used hacked Facebook accounts to spam Facebook users with bogus Free iPad offers.

In addition to knocking out spammers, this new feature also gives users a way of logging out of machines that they've recently used -- a library computer or a friend's mobile phone.

Not everyone will be able to use this new feature immediately, as it's being rolled out "gradually," Facebook said in an e-mail message. Users who have been granted the login control feature can see it by going to Account Settings and then looking for it in the Account Security Section.

There, they can see the different computers currently logged into Facebook, which browser and operating system they use and -- based on Internet Protocol information -- a guess at where they are located. With the click of a button, the user can "end activity" on any of these sessions.

Someone whose account has been hacked could use this information to confirm that her account had been compromised and then reset her password.

"It provides you with a visual indication of which devices currently have sessions open with your user profile," said Andrew Walls, research director with the Gartner analysis firm.

The feature is a follow-up to a login notification feature that Facebook introduced last May, which alerts users when different devices log into their accounts, he said.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityinternetFacebooksocial networkingInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?