Facebook lets users give 'spare keys' to friends

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a proponent of solving technical issues through relationships.

Story highlights

  • Facebook has begun testing new security features
  • One allows users to specify people who can help with account emergencies
  • Users must collect three to five keys from friends in order to log in
Next time a friend of yours calls up asking for their spare key, they may be looking for a Facebook password.
On Thursday, Facebook began testing a tool called Trusted Friends. It lets a user specify between three and five pals on the social network (no more, no less) who can be counted on to pass along a special code if the user somehow gets locked out of his or her account.
It's essentially another way to regain access to your Facebook page if you forget your password. The option will show up on the "account settings" page for some of Facebook's 800 million users during the next few weeks, the company said in a statement.
When someone who has enabled the feature is unable to login using the normal means, they can click "forgot my password" and request that keys be sent to their specified friends via Facebook message. The user must then retrieve all the codes, or keys, and enter them into fields on Facebook's password-recovery page to log back in, a Facebook spokeswoman said in an e-mail.
This makes the process sort of like a scavenger hunt, although one with a less-than-exciting reward.
The Trusted Friends feature will not be mandatory. It joins other account-recovery features such as the ubiquitous "forgot my password" and security questions, as well as less conventional methods, like identifying friends' faces in pictures or recovering passwords via text message.
Facebook also began testing another security feature on Thursday for setting different passwords on each site that takes Facebook credentials.