Facebook security feature uses text messages

Facebook is launching a new security feature that helps prevent unauthorized use of your account. However, if you already use security options while you browse online, then this new process will not work.

The optional security feature only works if you opt in. It's called Login Approvals. When you login into Facebook from an unrecognized computer, you need to enter a code that's sent to your mobile phone. If you don't have your phone with you, you won't be able to access Facebook until you go to a recognizable computer.

For this to work, you need to register computers you often use. Register multiple computers so you don't get locked out. Go to Account Settings under Account in the upper right corner, then click account security, then you'll see login approvals and login notifications.

You need to give a phone number to Facebook, which is another security concern or privacy factor to consider. Then, you enter the code sent to your phone number to register each computer.
When an unrecognized device tries to use your account, you'll be notified on your next login. Then, you can change your password if you don't recognize the login attempt.

While this is a good security measure, it appears Facebook is tracking you, which raises alternative security and privacy concerns. To test this theory, I opened another browser and chose to browse privately. This means my habits are not tracked, which increases my security and reduces targeted behavioral advertising. I tried to log in into Facebook, and as predicted, my computer wasn't recognized.

Private browsing is a great security feature that helps reduce your digital footprint. However, private browsing also inhibits the Facebook security feature.

I then opened the browser again without private browsing. I was alerted there were login attempts that Facebook didn't recognize. It showed me where the login happened and the time. It's an interesting feature, but if you already browse privately it may be a big headache.

I also tried to open Facebook in a second browser, and once again Facebook didn't recognize my computer. So, you can't browse privately and you have to use the same browser like Firefox, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer -- or you'll have to enter a security code.

I think two-factor authentication is important, but I like the way my banks do it. When I enter my username from a computer my banks don't recognize, I need to enter a code, recognize a picture or answer a security question before I can enter my password. It's not a hassle or drawback to browsing privately. It takes ten extra seconds to get into my account, and doesn't require I have my phone sitting next to my computer.

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Content courtesy: jennstrathman.com . Jenn works as a consumer investigator for WEWS-TV in Cleveland and keeps a blog to update people on the latest money-saving tips.

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