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Facebook Adds Support for Security Keys, Allows Two-Factor Authentication Using NFC

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As part of a security and privacy revamp, Facebook announced today that it will start offering users a new authentication procedure. The new system will rely on a physical security key to perform extra authentication before an account can be accessed.

Starting today, the social network will support security keys, USB thumb drives that plug into a Mac or PC, which use the FIDO Alliance’s open Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) standard to provide cryptographic proof of identity.┬áThe keys, such as those sold by Yubico, can be registered to an account through the two-factor authentication settings in the security menu.

Facebook does already offer two-factor authentication as an extra security measure, with account holders able to use the Facebook app to generate a code or to have one sent in a text message to their phone. However, if you are looking for a stronger form of authentication, the security key is the way to go.

While the additional security is useful, it does have its limitations in terms of compatibility. Safari is not a supported browser, so macOS users will have to use Opera or Chrome to log in using a security key. In addition, this method will not work when you use a mobile device, like an iPhone or iPad.

If you want to take advantage of this new security mechanism, you will have to buy a physical key, which for Yubico’s supported YubiKeys start from $18 for a basic key.┬áSome of the more expensive keys also include NFC, which can be used to authenticate with the Facebook mobile site on an Android device.

[via The Verge]

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