Facebook will increase its security offerings, especially for high-profile users, the social media giant announced Tuesday (Dec. 22).
The company will support the use of security keys on mobile devices so anyone logging into an account will need more than just a password, a Facebook official told PYMNTS. The company sees likely users as political campaign staffers, journalists and activists.
Security keys can take a variety of forms, including fobs that generate numbers that must be used alongside traditional passwords during the account login process. Facebook already offers them to certain high-profile users, but only for use with desktop computers. Security keys will work with mobile devices logging into Facebook accounts beginning in 2021.
Facebook has upgraded security since widespread public allegations that the platform was compromised by individuals and entities seeking to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, Axios reported.
Some of Facebook’s security protocols, including two-factor authentication, are wrapped into a suite of offerings called Facebook Protect that already is available to users determined to be at high risk of having their accounts compromised.
To date, Facebook Protect only has been available in the United States. In 2021, according to the Facebook official, Facebook Protect will be available internationally to anyone involved in elections.
Facebook stated that more than 70 percent of individuals “closely involved” in U.S. elections in 2020 used two-factor authentication to protect their Facebook accounts, Axios reported.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook security head, told Axios: “Bad actors are trying to target social media assets of prominent voices. Just because you’re not a CEO or a political candidate doesn’t mean you’re not a prominent person in your field and a target.”
He added, according to Axios: “Our thesis is that you have to protect accounts because every compromised asset can become a tool that is used by bad actors for greater harm — much greater — afterwards, in addition to causing immediate harm to people.”