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Facebook Trusted Contacts lets friends bail you out of a hack attack

May 02, 20132 mins
Data and Information SecurityFacebookSecurity

Facebook Thursday announced a new security tool called Trusted Contacts for users who suspect they've been hacked.

Facebook Thursday announced a new security tool called “Trusted Contacts” for users who suspect they’ve been hacked.

Trusted Contacts allows you to specify three to five Facebook friends to help you regain account access. In case of a security breach, each of these friends gets a code that you must enter to unlock your account. It’s basically an alternative to answering numerous security questions to prove your identity.

To recover an account, you’ll need security codes from three contacts, so Facebook recommends choosing friends that are both trustworthy (“like friends you’d give a spare key to your house”) and easy to reach by phone or in person.

After setting up Trusted Contacts, each friend will get a notification from Facebook, letting them know that they should be ready to help.

Too complicated?

It’s a nice gesture but, given that it takes some effort to set up, chances are most users won’t bother unless Facebook starts asking for Trusted Contact details when users log in.

In any case, users who are concerned about security would be better served by setting upA Login Approvals, also known as two-factor authentication.

This feature prevents access on unrecognized devices by requiring a security code that Facebook sends to your phone. Other companies like Microsoft and Twitter have begun offering two-factor authentication lately, as more users and organizations fall victim to hack attacks.

Although Facebook says Trusted Contacts is available now, the link provided doesn’t seem be working yet. You should be able to add Trusted Contacts soon through Facebook’s Security Settings page.