New Facebook tool targets unauthorised logins


Facebook has launched a new tool that will notify users if their account has been accessed by an unauthorised device.

The privacy feature lets Facebook users approve devices they commonly go on to access the social networking service.

"For example, you can save your home computer, your school or work computer, and your mobile phone. Once you've done this, whenever someone logs in to your account from a device not on this list, we'll ask the person to name the device," explained Facebook software engineer Lev Popov, in a blog post.

An email notification will be sent to the user and they have the option to be sent text messages as well when their account is accessed from any unauthorised machine.

The notification will show how to reset passwords and remove the unrecognised device.

Facebook has also introduced a new system that will block suspicious logins. Popov said: "When we see that someone is trying to access your account from an unusual device, we'll ask the person to answer an additional verification question to prove his or her identity as the real account owner."

In such a case, the person accessing the account may be asked to answer a previously provided security question or identify a friend in a photo, although the latter could prove troublesome considering what people sometimes tag in photos as friends.

"We're confident that these new tools and systems will do a lot to prevent unauthorised logins and the nuisance they can cause. As always, though, the first line of defense is you. We need you to help by practicing safe behavior on Facebook and wherever you go online," Popov added.

Facebook will be hoping these new additions to the range of privacy tools will help ease concerns over security on the social networking site.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.