Can’t access your Facebook account, forgot your password or got hacked? Facebook announced today it is testing “Trusted Friends,” a new way to prove who you are when you’re locked out.
Facebook wants your friends to influence and be instrumental in every part of your social life, if not your real one. The company announced a number of new features to this end at its September developer conference F8. These include a new vocabulary to supplement the “like” button, options to listen to music with friends and discover news content through them. The security feature now lets your friends act as trusted liaisons when Facebook can’t contact you directly.
“It’s sort of similar to giving a house key to your friends when you go on vacation,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Pick the friends you most trust in case you need their help.”
For example, if you suddenly don’t have access to your email, and can’t remember your Facebook password, Facebook won’t be able to email you a new password. Instead, the social network will contact three of your friends and require you enter an access code sent to each of them. The process will take longer than a simple email password reset because you have to wait for the friends to send you access codes. If you’re locked out due to a hack, you might not want to wait the extra time to take your account back, but it’s better than not getting access at all.
Facebook is also testing one-time passwords for third-party applications. When you accept a third-party application, you have to login to your account, but now Facebook will generate a one-time password for you to use in your regular password’s stead. That way, if the app turns out not to be from credible sources, you didn’t just give them total access to your Facebook account.
According to its blog post, Facebook is rolling out these features in honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.