Facebook Debuts Three Mobile Security Measures

By David Cohen 

Two topics that have been top-of-mind at Facebook the past few weeks, mobile and security, were combined in the social network’s announcement Thursday of three mobile security updates: code generator, the ability to report unwanted content, and improved mobile recovery flows.

Code generator enables users to more easily confirm logins via mobile devices. Users with poor cellular service, or those having difficulties receiving SMS, can now receive login approval codes through their Facebook application, and the codes will work with or without cellular or Internet access. Codes refresh every 30 seconds.

The feature is currently available only for Android devices, but Facebook said it is “working hard to expand this functionality to other devices,” and the SMS option is still available to those users in the meantime.

Mobile users also now have the option of hiding or reporting inappropriate or unwanted content by clicking on the feedback icon (where likes and comments are) or the comment link on stories, and then clicking the icon in the upper-right-hand corner and choosing between hiding the story or reporting it and marking it as spam.

Facebook said this feature is currently available only through m.facebook.com, but it is working to bring the functionality to all of its mobile apps.

Finally, the tool Facebook introduced in 2009 to regain control of compromised accounts, previously available only via desktop PCs, can now be accessed via mobile devices, enabling users to handle situations such as unwanted emails gaining access to their accounts, or logins by hackers.

Users can now reset their passwords via mobile devices, as well as accessing Facebook’s social authentication tool.

The social network said in announcing the new features:

At Facebook, we are always working to improve our systems and products so that you can use them anywhere, any time, and on any device. We’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months making sure that your mobile experience is just as good as when you’re at home sitting at your computer. As such, we are happy to announce a few improvements to our safety and security products that will now be available to the nearly half billion users who access our site using a mobile device.

Readers: Do the improvements Facebook introduced Thursday ease any concerns you might have had about accessing the social network via mobile devices?