13 Oct 2010

One-time use passwords aim to make Facebook more secure

Facebook will soon give users one-time, disposable passwords. Users would receive a text message that contain passwords that have a lifespan of just 20 minutes, making them difficult for attackers to steal.

The passwords could be used to increase internet security when logging in from public locations, such as an internet cafe or a hotel, or if a user suspects their computer has been compromised by keylogging software.

Facebook product manager Dave Brill outlined the new feature in a blog post. “Simply text 'opt' to 32665 on your mobile phone, and you'll immediately receive a password that can be used only once and expires in 20 minutes,” wrote Brill. “We're rolling this out gradually, and it should be available to everyone in the coming weeks.”

The addition is yet another recent internet security measure by the social networking giant. Last month, they began allowing users to check their account’s log-in history and to log out remotely from computers outside their home.

In the future, Facebook also intends to prompt users to keep their security and contact information up-to-date. They hope this will allow users to more easily regain control their accounts if they are hacked.