Facebook is rolling out a security control that enables users to remotely log out of an active session from a different machine. The feature extends controls added in May to prevent unauthorized activity.
Facebook is updating security on its site to bolster protections added in
May relating to user log-ins.
This time, Facebook is giving users the ability to log out of any Facebook
session they may have left active on another computer or device. For example,
if a user logs into Facebook on a friend's computer and then leaves without
logging out, thanks to the new feature the user can now end the session from
"The goal is to give people
over their account and log-ins," a Facebook
spokesperson said, adding the "feature allows you to close [a] session
from anywhere-all from one central location in your account. In the unlikely
case that someone accesses your account without your permission, you can shut
down the unauthorized log-in before resetting your password and taking other
steps to secure your account and computer."
The ability is being rolled out gradually, and is expected to be fully
available to Facebook users in the next couple of weeks. The feature builds on
capabilities the social network added in May to notify users when their account
is accessed by a device they haven't approved. To take advantage of the new control,
users need only visit the Account Security section of the Account Settings
To read about the top social-networking
security attacks of 2010, click here.
"Most security features in [Facebook] are preventive
and do not inform the user about the status of their security," said
Gartner analyst Andrew Walls. "This new feature enables the user to
monitor, to a certain extent, access to their user profile. It should be noted
that you must enable the log-in notification feature to access the new session
This type of feature is commonly found in operating systems and identity and
access management systems, but is relatively unusual in consumer-oriented SAAS
(software as a service), Walls added.
"Techies will use [it] but it is not clear how many regular users will
understand or take advantage of the feature to monitor access to their FB profile,"
he said. "If users take the time to use the feature they may enjoy a
greater sense of security regarding profile access, but that is a big