Facebook has had a tough few weeks, coming under heavy fire for changes to how the social network handles the privacy of its users. Today, in the face of those criticisms Facebook is rolling out a number of new privacy features designed to help keep people’s information and accounts safe.
The new features are designed to help prevent phishing and unauthorized logins more than protect normal on-site privacy, but are both useful and well-timed.
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Users will now have the option to be sent an alert, via email or text message, when their account is accessed by a new device. Use a new mobile phone to log on, you get a note saying so. While it might seem simplistic, it will prove useful if someone else has access to your account. They log in on with a new device, you note that you did not, and can then quickly change your password. Quick, simple, effective.
This new change is accessible in your Account Settings page, under Account Security. Facebook will ask you to name the devices you use on your account to prevent confusion.
Second in the new privacy controls is the ability stop suspicious logins before they happen, preventing any damage from the get go. If Facebook notes very suspicious activity in or around your account they will prompt the person attempting to log in with a question.
Questions will come in a variety of flavors, from asking the person to “enter a birth date, identify a friend in a photo or answer a security question if [they’ve] previously provided one.” In short if someone who is not you tries to log in as you and gets caught, Facebook is going to throw up a high wall that they will not be able to scale unless they know you very well.
Good on Facebook for the new changes, they will help the normal Facebook user avoid abuse.