Facebook announced two new features to help improve security for its 800 million-plus users: trusted friends, and application passwords.
If you’ve ever left a set of keys with a close friend who lives nearby, in case yours are lost, the concept of trusted friends will be familiar to you.
The social network will let users choose three to five friends to contact if they are ever locked out of their Facebook accounts. Codes will be sent to those friends, and users can regain access to their accounts with those codes.
As for application passwords, rather than accessing Facebook apps with their credentials via the social network, users can elect to specify separate passwords for apps.
To do this, users must go to account settings, click the security tab, and enter the app passwords section. There, they can generate passwords to be entered with their email addresses when accessing the selected applications.
Facebook said trusted friends and app passwords will be rolled out to users “in the coming weeks.”
The company summarized its security improvements in a new infographic; we’ve embedded a copy of it at the bottom of this post, but a fair amount of the print doesn’t become visible until you increase your screen’s magnification to 379 percent (if your browser doesn’t go up that high, click here to download the version of the graphic in Adobe Acrobat).
Meanwhile, Facebook has this to say about trusted friends and app passwords:
Security and safety are at the core of Facebook. We have entire teams dedicating their time to building tools that give people even more control over their account and specifically the way they access their information. In fact, many of our most talented engineers are working exclusively on creating a secure environment on Facebook. This October, as part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we are working with others in the community to help educate those online about techniques and tools for securing your devices and networks. Additionally, we thought this would be a great opportunity to tell you about some of the systems working behind the scenes to keep you and your data safe.
Readers: Will you take advantage of trusted friends or app passwords once they become available?