Facebook Announces New ‘Trusted Friends’ Security Feature

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Now you can get back into your Facebook account with a little help from your friends: Facebook just announced a new feature called Trusted Friends, which uses—surprise, surprise—your social network to log you back in if you forget your password.

This is how it works: First, you pick five Facebook friends you trust. If you get locked out, you can arrange it so those friends get a code. Afterwards, call them, collect three of the codes, enter them, and voila—you’re back in business. Facebook likens it “to giving a house key to your friends when you go on vacation.”

(PHOTOS: Around the World With Facebook)

Apparently, this is all in honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, that joyous time of year when we all change our passwords and tell grandma “No, don’t open that!”

So, why would you need this when you can simply reset your password via email? Because the email you register with might not be the email you use in two years when you forget your password. This very writer had that experience back in 2008, when he realized he still had a Friendster account he created in 2003 with a long-defunct Hotmail account. Friendster’s advice: Scan a photo ID and then email, fax or mail an image of it back to its customer service department. Needless to say, it wasn’t very convenient.

The point is, technology changes fast, and you never know what social media site or email account you’ll be using in the future. Plus, you can always just forget your email password.

Facebook also announced app-specific passwords for when you log into third-party apps with your Facebook account.

MORE: 25 Facebook Profiles You Should Subscribe to Right Now