Facebook seeks users' phone numbers to prevent security breaches

Published Date
18 - Jun - 2012
| Last Updated
18 - Jun - 2012
 
Facebook seeks users' phone numbers to prevent security breaches

In a bid to make the Social Networking site more secure, Facebook is asking its 900 million users to provide their mobile phone numbers. Facebook says the move is part of its measures to improve security on the social networking site.

A number of Facebook users in the U.S. have confirmed seeing a link at the top of their desktop news feed prompting them to register their phone numbers with simple security steps. The link directs users to the Facebook Security page where Facebook guides users on how to spot a scam, have unique passwords, and verify their phone numbers for account recovery.

Facebook says the message will be shown to all of its desktop users over the next few days. It is being speculated that the move is response to the recent security breaches on the web. LinkedIn, one of the largest professional networking sites, suffered a massive security breach which saw more than six million passwords leaking to the Internet. However, Facebook denies the notion and says the security alert was planned even before these events.

According to a TechCrunch report, if a Facebook account was hacked, the company would wipe users' passwords immediately and send the new ones via SMS, without having to depend on e-mail alerts to notify users about changing passwords. The report further points out Cloudmark's blog post, that claimed that e-mail notifications from the social network often land up in the spam boxes – as happened in case of LinikedIn.

Andrew Conway, a Cloudmark researcher, said in the blog post that more than 4 percent of LinkedIn users receiving the email notifications thought they were spam and sent straight to the spam box. "If Linkedin sends out 6.5 million emails, then a quarter of a million people are congratulating themselves on avoiding spam -- and still have a compromised Linkedin password,” he pointed out.

With more than 900 million users across the globe, Facebook is one of the largest social networks. Facebook recently drew flak from all corners over its plans of opening the social network to preteens. The social network wants to allow kids to join the network under parental supervision. For more views on the matter, read Social networking is not safe for preteens, say survey results

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