Facebook, the largest social networking site has become an integral component of our online lives, and it’s not just because of the amount of time we spend on the social networking site itself. The site is now introducing several new tools and enhancements which should improve the standard in both cases.
A trio of security-minded additions to the site have begun rolling out, and each will help make Facebook a little bit safer for all its users — provided they’re made aware of the changes, of course. For starters, there’s a new Family Safety Center which helps educate users about Facebook philosophy and policies and offers tools and resources for parents, children, and law enforcement to better understand and utilize security-related features.
The other two additions are a bit geekier, though even more critical to understand if you’re concerned with account safety. Facebook has greatly improved its HTTPS support — which you can enable in your account settings under account security. Enabling always-on HTTPS ensures that your Facebook activities can’t be intercepted by tools such as FireSheep, the hacking tool which cause a massive uproar in late 2010.
Two Factor Authentication requires that you also provide a code when you log in on a new computer or device, besides your account credentials. This code can be generated by an application or sent via SMS, though Facebook hasn’t provided any details about its implementation yet.
The feature is being rolled out but only to a select few, so it may be a while before you have access to it.
Facebook is also making a small but crucial change to the way its support for the HTTPS protocol works. Until now, Facebook apps didn’t work over HTTPS, so you had to revert to an unsecure connection to use one.
You still can’t use apps with HTTPS, but now, the protocol is automatically enabled again once you finish with the app, something that, inexplicably, didn’t happen before.