Facebook has announced that it has improved the way users can set up two-factor authentication for their accounts. Product Manager Scott Dickens explained that users can now turn on two-factor authentication using various second factors such as third-party authentication apps including Google Authenticator and Duo Security instead of just a phone number.
The move expands the options users have at their disposal for adding another layer of protection to their Facebook accounts. Two-factor authentication remains an optional feature rather than being activated by default. Another change to Facebook's 2FA platform is the addition of a guide that walks users through the setup process so that they follow the right steps for switching on the security feature in a swift manner. Dickens confirmed that Facebook is still recommending turning on 2FA, in accordance with optimal security practices in the industry.
The Menlo Park, California-based social networking platform officially introduced two-factor authentication to its platform a few years ago to help users lock out their account in the event of unauthorized access taking place, seeing how the number of accounts that have been hacked rose in recent times. Since then, Facebook added several security solutions to keep users protected from hackers such as support for USB keys which was introduced to its desktop and mobile site versions in early 2017. USB keys are a form of two-factor authentication designed to generate single-use digital codes that are sent out to users via SMS, allowing them to confirm their identities using non-reusable keys. Now that Facebook allows other second factors besides a phone number to set up two-factor authentication on its core service, it remains to be seen when the social media giant plans to extend the new feature to its other apps such as Instagram which received 2FA in March last year but has yet to embrace many of Facebook's security options.