Facebook's Temporary Security Solution

A new security measure from Facebook will help make the service safer to access from public places. The social media service is enabling its over 500 million users to login from public places via a temporary password sent by text message. This one-time temporary password can be used in place of a user's regular password, and hopefully will help protect them from compromised public machines. The attack most commonly associated with this kind of breach is password stealing via key logging. But with the advent of this security measure, the keylogger would only record the user's temporary, one-time password.

To use this security measure, users must list their mobile phone numbers with their Facebook accounts. They would then text the letters "opt" to the number 32665 from their mobile phones. Facebook sends a temporary password, which is good for 20 minutes.

Though this is a perfectly reasonable solution by Facebook to the keylogging threat, it does involve providing the service with even more information about yourself. A social media security expert once told me that the personal information provided to a social media site is essentially owned by the site. There's no telling how your personal information might be used. As always, the best security measure to avoid keylogging is to avoid logging into Facebook from public spaces. Especially with the advent of Facebook apps on mobile telephones, users rarely should need any reason to login from an unfamiliar terminal.

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