Forgetful or unlucky Facebook users that get locked out of their accounts can now get a little help from their friends. Facebook today launched a new ‘Trusted Contacts’ feature, which gives users the option to recover their accounts through their close Facebook friends. The security tool was first tested back in 2011 under the name Trusted Friends.
Here’s how it works. Within a given user’s security settings there is now a tab labeled Trusted Contacts. Anyone who clicks on that can choose three to five friends who will receive code numbers to access a locked-out user’s Facebook account. Those friends can then relay those codes to the unfortunate user to help him get back into his account. No security questions would be required here.
The number of codes necessary to recover one’s account is dependent on the number of friends list. So, those with three Trusted Contacts will need three codes to regain their account, those with four listed friends will need four codes, and so on.
Trusted Contacts doesn’t get rid of the traditional methods of account recovery, so users can still answer security questions or the traditional “Forgot your password?” tab whenever they can’t get into their account if they want. The optional feature is more like an emergency last resort for users who can’t remember their passwords and can’t get into their corresponding email accounts.
Facebook likens Trusted Contacts to lending spare house keys to close friends or neighbors, which makes sense given how the site has become something of a virtual home for many users. Facebook has already added a two-step verification process, so Trusted Contacts is just the latest feature Mark Zuckerberg and company have employed to ensure users can stay on Facebook as much as possible.