Facebook has launched a new security feature that will let users log out from any device remotely. This is designed to protect users who access Facebook from multiple devices, but will also help safeguard users against hacking.
The post on the Facebook Security page says:
“Have you ever borrowed a friend’s phone to use Facebook and then forgotten to log out before you handed it back? Maybe you logged in from a public computer, but accidentally walked away with your Facebook session still active. Now, you can see if you’re still logged in on other devices and immediately log out on those devices from one central control in your account.”
The upgrade is rolling out gradually to all users. Once it’s live for you, access is via the “Account Security” section of your Account Settings page. You should be able to all your active sessions along with information such as the login time, device name if you’ve previously named it through the login notifications feature, the approximate location of the login based on IP address, and browser and operating system.
The blog post notes that if someone has accessed your account without your permission, you should be able to shut down the unauthorized log-in before resetting your password and taking other steps to secure your account and computer.
This update makes a lot of sense. In the mobile age, people are increasingly accessing Facebook from multiple locations and devices, and a central way to manage that would be very handy. Also, while the blog post describes the example of unauthorized access as “unlikely”, I know several friends who have had their accounts hacked or accessed in some way and their status updates filled with spam. While some less technically minded users might find using this feature a bit daunting, there are quite a lot of people who have enough technical savvy to make good use of it.