This article was published on April 19, 2011

Facebook pushes online safety with Two Factor Authentication and improved HTTPS

Facebook pushes online safety with Two Factor Authentication and improved HTTPS

Facebook has announced a number of new online safety features today.

Firstly, ‘Two Factor Authentication’, which is designed to help prevent unauthorized access to your account, is being rolled out. The company says: “If you turn this new feature on, we’ll ask you to enter a code anytime you try to log into Facebook from a new device. This additional security helps confirm that it’s really you trying to log in.”

The feature is similar to Google’s Two-step authentication and is a welcome addition to the company’s existing One-Time Password feature for when you’re logging in on public computers in libraries, airports and the like.

Facebook is also improving secure connections via HTTPS. HTTPS browsing of Facebook was recently introduced, but now if you start using a non-HTTPS application on Facebook, you will automatically be switched back to HTTPS when you’re finished.

Today Facebook has also relaunched its Family Safety Center with new content aimed at improving safety online.

The move follows a blog post yesterday by Graham Cluley at security firm Sophos which called Facebook out on its security record. The post said that it was far too easy to become a Facebook app developer (helping foster malware apps), that HTTPS support should be improved and that all new sharing features should be on an ‘opt-in’ for basis in the interests of privacy. While today’s announcement goes some way to addressing at least one of these concerns, Cluley clearly won’t be satisfied just yet.

It’s not clear when the new security options announced today will be rolled out to all users.