Facebook puts account security in the hands of your friends

With Trusted Contacts, your closest friends are the key to getting back into your account.

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

The next time you're locked of your Facebook account, one of your besties can loan you the key.

Facebook today released a security feature called "Trusted Contacts" as an optional way for people to recover their passwords with the help of their closest friends. Thursday marks the global rollout of the redesigned feature, previously named Trusted Friends, which the company first started testing back in 2011 .

With Trusted Contacts, you can pick three to five friends you trust to help you get back into your account the next time you're having trouble logging in. Should a lockout situation arise, the social network will send security codes to the friends you selected, and they can then pass along those codes to you. You'll need a total of three security codes to recover your account, Facebook said.

trusted contacts
Facebook
"With Trusted Contacts, there's no need to worry about remembering the answer to your security question or filling out long web forms to prove who you are," Facebook explained in a blog post.

You can proactively choose your chosen few in the security settings section of your Facebook account, instead of selecting the folks when you're locked out, as was previously the case. Your friends will then receive notifications that they've been entrusted with your Facebook security.

The company warns that you should only pick friends who you'd trust with a spare key to your house, and that if locked out you should call your key holders so that they know it's really you.

The quirky security measure may seem odd, but it's meant to model real-life situations and make it both easy and safe for members to get back into their Facebook accounts. And if it's not for you, you can answer your security questions as usual.

 

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