Facebook Brings in Trusted Contacts to Secure Account Recovery Process

May 3, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Facebook is always looking for new ways to entice their users deeper into the system and keep them engaged. The more recent way they have come up with is to allow the user to designate their friends as Trusted Contacts.

These Trusted Contacts will have the ability to restore access to your Facebook account if you are unable to login due to any circumstance. This is particularly done in view of a hacking event.

Facebook has looked at ways to deputize users to provide customer support and has found the potential in doing so, recognizing the economic and security promise of such a system.

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With the new Trusted Contacts system in place, the social networking site says that “if you ever have trouble logging in, don’t call us, call a friend”.

The company doesn’t actually cite the reasons for a user unable to login. A hacked account is one possible scenario, but then if anyone is able to hack into a user’s account, then he could also quite possible alter the Trusted Contacts list, thus effectively cutting you off.

But Facebook has looked at that and maintains a separate account reset process at facebook.com/hacked. The Trusted Contacts list is approached mostly in the case of forgotten passwords.

Since Facebook tends to remember passwords and allows a user to be signed in at all times, the user needn’t enter their password each time they login, thus making them easier to forget their passwords. But account recovery processes are bogged down with insecurities.

If a person could answer to some of the obvious password recovery questions, the account could easily be hacked. Moreover, losing access to the email account through which users login to the social networking site could also prove to be dangerous.

Facebook says that the Trusted Contact account recovery process brings in a new level of security to recovery processes. “With trusted contacts, there’s no need to worry about remembering the answer to your security question or filling out long web forms to prove who you are. You can recover your account with help from your friends,” says the company in a blog post.

Another benefit with this system is that friends are less likely to be fooled by an imposter than customer service personnel.

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