Do you trust someone to keep a copy of your house keys? Does someone you trust know how to unarm your home alarm? Facebook released a new feature this week called "Trusted Contacts" that's based on the same trust concept. Trusted Contacts lets Facebook users trust three to five friends with password information. Why? So that you can get into your Facebook account if you forget your password or email combination.
There are a few reasons why this feature is a good idea, and many reasons why it's not a good idea at all. Tempted to try out Trusted Contacts? There are good reasons and bad reasons why you should and shouldn't. In short, you might want to read through this article first.
The drawback to Trusted Contacts is that you have to gain permission from every single one of your contacts in order to get back into an account. This can only be done by getting a special code that Facebook generates from each of your contacts. What if your friends are out of town? You're out of Facebook until they return. You can't just enter one code, you have to enter all three unique codes in order to get back into your account. See how complicated that can be?
The other problem here is that most friends will send you accessibility codes via email -- and god help us all if you have a less than brilliant friend that tries to send a code via Facebook. Technically, hackers won't be able to get into your account because all three friends have unique codes. But, it's still advisable to ask your friends to call you with those codes.
One last thing: the cloud exists, and cloud password management apps exist. So, why do you need your friends to hold onto your Facebook login information for you? You don't really need to do this, as far as I can see. But, hey, it's there if you need it, right?
What's the good part of Trusted Contacts? Well, someone that you know can get into your Facebook account if you've locked yourself out. I'm also guessing that any friends you choose will be flattered that you chose them. Aside from those reasons, I can't think of any really good reason why you'd want to use this security feature.
Facebook does currently have a two-step identification process (did you know?). In most instances, a two-step process will suffice. After all, we're talking about Facebook here. Unless you run a company that might become hacked regularly, there's not a lot of hacking problems when it comes to regular Facebook users.
If you are going to use the Trusted Contacts feature, make sure to choose friends that are near you, can be reached, and have no life -- or, can send you codes via tablet or smartphone. Just don't drive your friends nuts if you happen to be forgetful. Nobody wants to be called up in the middle of the night in order to give you a Facebook password code.