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Do you trust your friends? Facebook introduce friend-based security

Uh-oh. You’ve forgotten your Facebook password, and you’re not too sure on the answer to your secret questions, either. What do you do? Well, Facebook has one new suggestion: Trusted Contacts.

Trusted Contacts is a novel way of recovering a lost password, which was recently launched by Facebook. The new process means that instead of answering questions to regain access to your account, you can assign friends who will be able to provide you with account access information.

Each Trusted Contact will be able to generate a unique “login” code for your account, but you will need three codes to regain access. Therefore you need to assign at least three people as Trusted Contacts (and a maximum of five).

The idea is similar to that of lending a friend a spare house key – but online. It’s even more secure than giving someone a key to your home because three codes are needed to login. Unfortunately, you also run the risk of your friends finding each other, ganging up and changing your Facebook status, so the key is to find reliable friends (or just ones that don’t know each other).

Setting Up Trusted Contacts

If you think Trusted Contacts is something you’d like to use, simply follow the steps below to turn on the service:

1) Go to your security settings page: https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=security&section=trusted_friends&view

2) Click “Choose Trusted Contacts”

3) Enter the names of three to five contacts on Facebook that you’d like to be a Trusted Contact. Facebook recommends that you choose people you can reach without using Facebook, ideally over the phone or in person, since you’ll need to contact them when you can’t log in. And remember to choose more than three people to help you – the more friends you choose, the more people who can help you when you need it.

4) Hope your friends don’t betray you…

That’s it – your friends will now be contacted individually to confirm that they are your Trusted Contacts. You can also turn off the feature – or remove a friend – if you change your mind.

It will be interesting to see if this catches on – can you imagine having a similar thing for your email and Amazon accounts? My one question is, is this actually more beneficial than having your password sent to your mobile phone via text, or even answering questions that you set in the first place?

What do you guys think?

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