Facebook tightens log-in verification

A new two-factor authentication feature is designed to cut down on account hacking

To help its hundreds of millions of users prevent unauthorized access to their accounts, Facebook has added an optional verification step to its log-in process.

The new security feature, called Login Approvals, is a form of two-factor authentication, as it adds a step to the basic user name and password verification.

With Login Approvals, Facebook users can now opt to have the company require that a one-time numeric code be entered along with their user name and password when a log-in attempt is made from devices that users haven't saved as approved ones.

Facebook sends the numeric code as an SMS message to the mobile phone the user has linked to the account, the company said Thursday in a blog post.

In this manner, an account would be protected against unauthorized access by someone who stole the user's user name and password.

The next time he tries to log in, the legitimate user would be notified that someone had tried to access the account and would be asked to change the compromised password.

If a user has activated Login Approvals, attempts to access the account from an unrecognized device and doesn't have the authorized cell phone at hand, he would remain locked out until he logs in from an approved device.

Facebook may consider incorporating other technology to Login Approvals beyond SMS, but it is holding off on it until those other forms of two-factor authentication become simpler.

"One challenge in building login approvals was balancing security and usability. Similar features on other websites require you to download authentication apps or purchase physical tokens to act as your second factor. These are good approaches, and we're considering incorporating them in the future, but they require a lot from the user before being able to turn on the feature," wrote Andrew Song, a Facebook engineering intern, in the blog post.

People's user names and passwords are stolen in a variety of ways, including through phishing scams, by intercepting unsecured Wi-Fi communications and with key-logging malware.

The Login Approvals feature can be turned on by going to the Account Security section of the Facebook account settings page, the company said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetFacebooksocial networkingInternet-based applications and servicesAccess control and authentication

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

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?