Last Thursday, Facebook introduced a new feature that adds a much-needed extra level of security for the popular social networking site's users. The feature enables members of the site to remotely log-out of any sessions that may still be active, and is an added step to combat hackers and other types of unauthorized access to personal accounts.
Whether it's at an Internet cafe, an on-campus library, or a friend's house, many people log into personal accounts on a variety of different computers. While it may not be the most secure method of checking up on personal matters, it does happen quite frequently.
One problem that comes with such a practice is that users sometimes forget to log out of their accounts. If the site has a “keep me logged in” feature, this means that simply shutting off the computer or closing the browser window does not complete the logging out process.
Thus, when the next person uses that computer, they can conceivably still view all the account information and even compromise the account for their own personal use. Although a friend may not cause any harm, a stranger could use that unsecured account to send out spam or perform other harmful deeds.
Facebook addressed this concern by adding the remote log-out feature. The feature can be accessed via the Account tab on the top right hand corner of each profile. From there, clicking on Account Settings and then Account Security reveals the new feature formally labeled as Account Activity.
Account Activity shows your most recent activity in a detailed manner. It will show you the last time you accessed the account in terms of time and date. It will also show an approximate geographic location according to IP address. Finally, it will also show the device type in terms of what browser was used as well as the operating system.
For example, accessing the Account Activity feature can tell you that your account was last accessed at 12:25pm on September 6 in Miami, Florida on a machine using Firefox and Windows 7. By providing such detailed information, you can really decipher whether or not it was you who logged in at that time, or if it was done by another, unauthorized person.
More importantly, Account Activity will advise you as to other sessions that are still active. For example, if you accessed your account on another device and did not formally log out, you are likely still logged in if you had the “keep me logged in” box checked on your login page. If you see an active session that you want to close, all you have to do is click on “end activity,” and that session will be terminated.
The new capability to remotely log out from your account is very valuable in that it offers extra peace of mind to those who are worried about their account's security. If you suspect that someone may have access to your account and has been logging into it, you now have visual proof as to its history, and can take actions to prevent further problems.
For more, visit: http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20015482-245.html
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