Facebook Unveils New Temporary Password Security Feature

Facebook has launched a new security feature allowing users to request a temporary password if they are using a public computer.

A post on the Facebook blog explains that users can text “otp” to 32665 on their mobile phone, and receive a password that can be used only once and expires in 20 minutes. In order for this to work, the Facebook user must have a mobile phone number in their account.

This feature should make it safer to use public computers in places like cafes, libraries and airports. A temporary password should thwart any attempts by hackers to use physical devices on the backs of computers to log keystrokes and therefore capture passwords.

Meanwhile, a feature announced in September – the ability to log out remotely from any session – has now been rolled out to all users. This means that if you use a friend’s computer to use Facebook and forget to log out, you can rectify the situation later. It also means that if hackers have taken hold of your account, you can boot them off and reset the password (unless they do it first, presumably).

Facebook is also about to start prompting users to regularly update their security information at this page.

I’m impressed by these initiatives – nothing is foolproof but this all makes a good deal of sense to me. What else do you think Facebook could be doing to improve security for users?

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