Facebook is releasing a new method for accessing your account when you lose your password: a little help from “trusted friends.”
The social network says it is testing a new tool in the coming weeks that will let you designate three to five friends you trust. If you forget your password or can’t access your email, Facebook will send your friends a code that they can pass along to you.
We’ve probably all been there: You forget your password and have to go through the “Forget your password?” process of waiting for a new one to arrive by email. Or, if we use Facebook’s comparison, you lock yourself out of your house — and now can go to a friend who has a spare key. Your spare key for Facebook is the code.
The new system doesn’t actually seem more efficient than the usual route if you’ve simply forgotten your password, but if for instance your account has been hacked and you’ve been locked out of your email, this is a new solution. It adds a new layer of security (the feature was announced for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month), too, since your friends can verify your identity more easily than any automated email.
Security firm Sophos points out, though, that a hacker could also remove or change your trusted friends settings and render the feature useless.
To set up Trusted Friends, go to your Security Settings Page (Account > Account Settings > Security), and click on the Trusted Friends section. From there, you can scroll through your friends and choose up to five. (You may not have access to this just yet — this section doesn’t appear in my settings.)