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Facebook introduces ‘security key’ to protect data

Jan 27, 2017
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New York, Jan 27 To minimise data breach, Facebook has added a new login option with ‘security keys’ that requires a user to enter a special security code from their phone in addition to the password when they login from a new browser.

According to a Facebook blog post, though most people get security code for login approvals from a text message (SMS) or by Facebook app to generate the code directly on their phones, SMS is not always reliable and having a phone back-up may not work well for them.

“You can register a physical security key to your account so that the next time you log in after enabling login approvals, you will simply tap a small hardware device that goes in the USB drive of your computer,” said Brad Hill, security engineer at Facebook.

Security keys can be purchased through companies like Yubico, a key manufacturing firm, and the keys support the open Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) — an authentication technology initially developed by Google — standard hosted by the ‘Fast IDentity Online’ (FIDO) Alliance.

FIDO Alliance is a group of big corporations that collaborate on ways to make sign-ins safer and easier online.

According to a report in Fortune, “a security key ensures that only the person in possession of it (and password) can access accounts so protected,” the report noted.

Users can set up a security key to protect their account by buying one online at an e-commerce shop and then go to the Facebook ‘settings’.

Click on ‘security’, where they can see an option for ‘security keys’.

Simply select ‘add key’ and the account is secured. To add a security key from computer, users need to use the latest versions of Chrome or Opera browser.

However, security keys have their own limitations currently.

It requires users to plug the device into a laptop or desktop through a USB port and sign on from a Chrome or Opera web browser.

Mobile users need buy a key that supports near-field communication, a wireless tech that involves radio waves.

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