Facebook offers one-time passwords

Facebook members can now protect their normal passwords by requesting a one-time password via text message.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills

Facebook added several new security features today, including the ability for people to request a one-time password for use on public computers.

When using a computer on which you don't want to type in your regular password you can now request a one-time password by texting "otp" to 32665 from a mobile phone. You have to have already confirmed that the phone is yours on your Facebook account. The one-time password will expire after 20 minutes, the company said in a blog post.

Facebook is rolling the feature out gradually, and it should be available to everyone in the coming weeks.

People should avoid using their regular passwords or accessing sensitive information on public computers because the machines could be infected with keylogging programs or other data-stealing malware.

The company also announced that it will regularly ask people to update their basic account information such as phone number, extra e-mail address, and security question so that in the event an account can not be accessed there will be updated information that can be used to help prove that the person requesting access is the owner.

Meanwhile, Facebook also completed the rollout of its feature that allows people to see all the active sessions on their account and to log out remotely, if, for instance, they have forgotten to log out on another computer. The company began rolling the feature out last month.