Two-factor authentication coming to Facebook

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Combats unauthorised access.

Facebook will roll out two-factor authentication to protect its users as part of a programme to beef up its security processes.

The social media giant that has 500 million users is following a similar move by Google's Gmail service in February.

When a user has the two-factor authentication option on Facebook activated, it will ask users to enter a code – in addition to their username and password – when they log into Facebook from an unknown device.

Facebook also announced changes to how users accessed its site. Earlier this year, it introduced  "HTTPS", a secure web protocol that encrypted communication and offered more secure identification of a network web server. The new development announced on Tuesday  switched users back to an HTTPS session if they started using a non-HTTPS application on Facebook.

Despite the improvements, some security experts, such as Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, were concerned about safety and privacy for Facebook users.

In an open letter, he and fellow researchers urged, among other things, that Facebook turn on HTTPS by default.

"Facebook should enforce a secure connection all the time, by default," the Sophos team wrote. "Why wait until regulators force your hand on privacy? Act now for the greater good of all."

A Facebook spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment, but company engineers have said that HTTPS may cause pages to load at a slower rate and that some third-party applications may not be compatible with the protocol.

This article originally appeared at scmagazineus.com

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