Facebook improves security with https and social authentication

Facebook announced on Wednesday that they will be improving security throughout the website, a response to the hacking of Mark Zuckerberg's account earlier today.

According to the Facebook Blog, the improved security measures will increase protection around the site, to ensure users information and accounts are secure, and decrease the number of ways hackers may be able to access your account.

Starting today, Facebook has enabled HTTPS around the website for users who feel like they need to secure their account. The totally optional feature can be enabled or disabled at any time in their account, and will ensure any information being sent throughout the website remains private. HTTPS currently doesn't work on third-party applications, but this issue will be addressed in the coming weeks. Before enabling HTTPS on Facebook, note that encrypted pages may take longer to load.


The new feature will co-exist with Facebook "advanced security" (found under Account Settings > Advanced Security). From here, you can see where and when you last signed into Facebook, being able to remotely logout from that location or mobile application. The most recent activity tracks your location, the browser's user agent and what date and time you signed in.

Facebook also announced, as part of their increased security measures, social authentication. If Facebook detects suspicious activity on your account, such as someone logging into your account from halfway around the world just hours after you, Facebook will prompt the user to identify pictures of a friend before accessing the account.

A captcha-like application will prompt the user before logging in, asking them to identify five of your friends.


Now, this feature won't be too hard to bypass, if you have your privacy settings opened to everyone. A hacker could just browse your open Facebook page and identify the friends in the picture. This is why you should limit access to your Facebook page to prevent strangers from being able to lurk your page.

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