Now Facebook Lets 'Trusted' Friends Access Your Account When You Can't: Is This Really Such a Good Idea?

Facebook trusted contactsHere's a handy new feature that Facebook rolled out today: it's called "Trusted Contacts," and it lets you select up to five friends who can have complete unfettered access to your personal Facebook account. Boy, doesn't that sound great? With just a few mouse clicks, your prank-loving friend Bill can swap out your profile photo with a crude sketch of a penis, and add "Ball gags" to your list of Likes.

Of course, that's not really what Trusted Contacts is for. It's to help you if you accidentally get locked out of your account. But when Facebook says, "Think of it like giving your house key to a friend when you go on vacation -- pick the friends you trust the most," I can't help thinking of how this feature has the potential to backfire.

The idea behind this new feature is to give you a backup system for recovering passwords. You choose three to five friends as trusted contacts, and if you ever having issues logging in, Facebook will send different code numbers to your designated pals -- who then must turn the codes over to you, so you can unlock your account.

Trusted contacts can be chosen via Security Settings, and Facebook will notify them of their thrilling status so they won't be confused when day comes that they're called into active duty.

Keep in mind that for every person listed, you'll need a code to gain access. So if three of your buddies are trusted contacts, you'll need all three codes to log back in. Also, you'll need to pick friends you can contact via non-Facebook ways, since you'll of course be locked out of your account.

Honestly, it sounds like a colossal pain in the ass to me -- I mean, isn't this what the security questions are for? -- but I guess if you've had lots of issues with being hacked or losing your password, it's nice to have a fallback system.

Unless, of course, your trusted pals aren't quite so trustworthy. As Facebook puts it,

We encourage users to choose friends they can trust and those that are unlikely to collude and gain access to an account. Similarly, you wouldn't trust your house keys to someone who may rob your house.

It wouldn't be completely easy for a trusted contact to get into your account, since they'd need all the codes in order to do so. But if you only gave out one code, or your buddies got together and compared notes? Goodbye Facebook dignity, hello penis profile.

Will you be using the trusted contacts feature in Facebook?

Image via EPublicist/Flickr

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Coles... Coles_mom

I wouldn't personally trust anyone enough with this.

DKs-Kat DKs-Kat

The only one I would trust enough is my husband.

April Conner-Landou

hell no. no one is getting into my fb. that's the only private thing I have in my life anymore.

bwsmommy bwsmommy

I would .. but its  my sister ..

sunse... sunset414

Absolutely not :) Not that I have anything to hide but what happens when the person you let have that access isn't as trusting as you thought. I am picky on what I share to begin with. 

Momma... Momma_Forever

My mom and my husband, no one else.  My husband already has my password and mom just has to ask for it. 

Jay Souza

In two words: Hell, no.

I'd rather lose my FB account.

Kris Aur

I think facebook has had this feature for awhile, maybe they are just now promoting it and explaining it to people more clearly.

To answer your question - no I will not be. Like you said, that's what the security questions are for. I don't think FB has the mobile phone account verification like google/gmail & yahoo does, it seems to me like they are just trying to avoid doing that. Gmail even has backup codes in a .txt file you can use if you lose your cell phone or don't have access to it for some reason. There are so many OTHER ways to secure an account and therefore access it myself, I do not need to give anyone give anyone else "keys to my house."

There is one thing that hasn't been mentioned in regards to this feature though which I know has actually been mentioned a lot. When someone passes away, there has been issues with family members gaining access to that individuals account. Did that person want a family member to gain access to that private stuff or maybe their best friend, or husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend? Unless they leave a will for who they leave all their "digital accounts" to it can cause tension in families (and personally I don't want my FB account going to anyone or even becoming a memorial page as it would with current policy.) Facebook does have a system in place right now, but this feature sometime down the road could be updated to allow them to force all FB members to select 1 person to be their "account beneficiary."

Nancy... NancyJ422

That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.  Like someone else said - I'd rather just be locked out of my FB forever. It's not that important. 

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