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Facebook Adds Password Recovery Via ‘Trusted Friends’ Option

October 19, 2011 11 comments

I have no idea how long this option has existed within Facebook. All I know is that I completely randomly found it earlier today when I was going through some security features in Facebook.* What I found was very much akin – in my mind – to the post I wrote a little while back about setting a friend’s email address as your recovery email address and likening it to a spare house key. (See: “Is Your Recovery Email Address The Spare House Key You Leave With A Friend?”)

*In case you don’t know how to get to these pages they are the Facebook Account Settings page and the Facebook Security Settings page and both of those are direct links which should take you to them if you are logged in to Facebook in your browser already. 

Basically, Facebook has started an option to choose 5 Facebook friends who you consider ‘Trusted Friends’ and if you ever have issues getting into your account and can’t access your recovery email address, for whatever reason, Facebook will send each of your trusted friends a security code. Then, all you need to do is get in touch with your friends and collect the codes. In order to set the whole thing up you have to choose between 3 to 5 Trusted Friends, although Facebook recommends choosing the full 5. Once you need to recover your password Facebook will, I assume, email/message all 5 of your Trusted Friends a code. You only need to get 3 out of the 5 codes sent to your various Trusted Friends in order to get access to your account back. A full description of the service is available on the “Opt-in Security Features” area in the “Facebook Help Center”.

I, of course, decided to opt right in as soon as I saw this option and set it up immediately. My main question is why hasn’t Facebook been pushing users to set this up as soon as they logged in to Facebook the day it was implemented? I can’t even find any mention of the option on the Facebook Blog even though I did a very specific search for “trusted friends” and also manually went through a a few pages of blog posts which took me all the way back to October 14, 2010.

Facebook requires you to re-enter your password before it will let you set up your 5 Trusted Friends.

When you first go to edit the Trusted Friends list, Read more…

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