Logging onto Facebook away from home? Use your mobile to stay secure

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The Independent Tech

Facebook is rolling out new security features to help you keep your account safe while you are away from your personal computer.

The new safety measures include the use of a one-time password, a unique password that users can request be sent to their mobile phone if they ever feel that the computing device they are using might be a little too public for their liking.

"[W]e're launching one-time passwords to make it safer to use public computers in places like hotels, cafes or airports. If you have any concerns about the security of the computer you're using while accessing Facebook, we can text you a one-time password to use instead of your regular password," said Facebook's Jake Brill in an October 13 blog post.

"Simply text 'otp' to 32665 on your mobile phone, and you'll immediately receive a password that can be used only once and expires in 20 minutes."

The second security feature Facebook is launching is the ability to log out of your account remotely. The feature is helpful if you have ever logged onto your account on a friend's computer or mobile phone and forgot to press the "logout" button.

The remote log-out feature is already available and can be accessed from your Facebook Account Settings, along with a detailed history of each active session (with information such as the approximate location of the last log-in and device used to access the account).

In September Google announced it would introduce one-time passwords as one of the steps the company would take to make using cloud-based applications more secure for its more than three million business users and 30 million individual users.

Google is currently implementing the two-step verification process, which will in theory help to protect users from phishing scams and password re-use, regardless of the device they are using to access their account.

Facebook says its one-time password feature should become available to all users within the coming weeks.