Facebook has added a new way for users of its social network to protect their accounts against malicious hackers.
Starting today, those that have an account on Facebook can add an extra layer of security to it with a physical USB security key.
If you’ve never seen one of these before, the concept is straightforward. Anytime you wish to login into Facebook account, you enter your login credentials and insert the dongle into your computer’s USB port. Some physical keys also include a NFC chip so that they can be used in conjunction with Android devices.
Physical security keys present several advantages compared to apps like Authy and SMS-based two-factor authentication solutions.
The most obvious advantage is that they make your logins practically immune to phishing attempts and man-in-the-middle accounts since malicious users need both your password and key to bypass the security of one of your accounts. Second, the same key can be used to login into more than one website. For instance, the YubiKey dongles Facebook suggests can also be used to secure one’s Gmail and Dropbox accounts.
While there are easier ways to add that extra bit of security to one’s account (Facebook also supports two-factor authentication via SMS), the company says this latest feature addition is a better fit for some users.