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Facebook adds 'trusted friends' and app-specific passwords

In honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Facebook reminds its users of existing security techniques and tools — and adds some new features which will supposedly keep you more secure on the social network.

A blog post by Facebook's security team — yes, there really are teams dedicated to such things at the company — explains that two new features are being added to users' account settings: Trusted friends and app passwords.


The first of these two features — trusted friends — is intended to help you access your account if you are ever locked out of it for some reason: 

Trusted Friends will let you select three to five trusted friends who can help you if you ever have issues accessing your account. [Facebook will] send codes to the friends you have selected, then you can log back into your account using these codes after your friends have passed them along to you.

Now while this feature sounds great in theory, there's also potential for abuse. Your supposedly trustworthy friends could easily request the reset codes on your behalf and then share them among each other in order to have all the information necessary to kidnap your account for some sort of nefarious (or hilarious) purpose.

In other words: Be very, very careful when it comes to selecting guardians for your Facebook account.

The other new feature — app passwords — is supposed to help keep your Facebook account safer by providing you with a unique password to use with apps. You'll generate these app-specific passwords by as necessary and simply enter them in place of your regular password when using third-party apps such as Spotify, Skype, and so on. You will be able to forbid a specific app from accessing your account by simply deleting the password you've generated for it at any time.

If you don't see the trusted friends or app password options in your Facebook account settings just yet, don't worry — these security features are rolling out gradually over the next few weeks.

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