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Facebook security asks you to put a name to a face as alternative to captcha

Facebook is asking you to put a name to a face in the name of security with new 'social authentication', meaning you don't have to mess around with those silly captcha thingies.

Facebook is asking you to put a name to a face in the name of security. The all-conquering social network has introduced 'social authentication' to keep out intruders, as well as supporting HTTPS across the site.

Social authentication is something like the captchas used by many sites to prove you're a human bean, only smothered in social special sauce. Facebook will now present users with pictures of friends, and ask you to correctly identify them from a multiple-choice list.

By contrast, a captcha -- that's Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, acronym fans -- old-fashionedly displays squiggly words you have to type out, and is often indecipherable. 

The site has also added full support for HTTPS connection. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is the technology that encrypts online payments so you know your card details stay safe when you're shopping. You can tell when a Web page is secure by the address, which will start with 'https' instead of 'http'. Your browser will probably display a dinky little padlock, usually in the bottom bar.

Once you turn it on, HTTPS encrypts Facebook so that your time spent poking, friending and looking at photos of casual acquaintances in assorted stages of drunkenness is secure, even if you're on a network that technically isn't. That means your details are protected from eavesdroppers if you're on a public network like at school, in an Internet cafe, or on public Wi-Fi.

Sadly this beefing-up of security came too late for one Mark Zuckerberg esq., whose profile was hacked earlier. The founder of Facebook found a hacker had changed his status to pose a question about transforming the network into a 'social business'. Zuckbook's profile has since been removed.

In other Facebook news, Facebook Credits are now mandatory for games, while Golden Globe-winning film The Social Network has been nominated for a whopping eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.