No Australian Plans Yet For Single-Use Facebook Passwords

Yesterday, we told you about Facebook's latest security enhancements, which include remote logout and one-time passwords for use when you're not at your own PC. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Australian users will get a chance at the latter any time soon.

We contacted Facebook to ask if the text-to-get-a-password option was going to appear outside the US, and got the following not-very-encouraging reply:

For the moment, the one time password feature is only available for those within the US. This is due to the number to text only working within the US at the moment. The one-time password is planned to be rolled out gradually to everyone however, so we will keep you updated on when it comes to Australia.

That's annoying, but it may not be that big a loss. Sophos security analyst Graeme Cluley notes in a blog post that the security benefits of using one-time passwords may be limited, especially if you don't also secure your mobile phone and closely monitor your Facebook profile details. And as he puts it: "If you believe a computer might not be secure why are you using it to access Facebook?"


Comments

    err, actually it works just fine, I used it this morning.

    You'll need to be on a phone network that currently supports Facebook's 'Mobile Texts' feature (http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=821) which, from memory, is Telstra & Optus.

    If you're on a supported carrier you'll need to register your mobile number at http://www.facebook.com/mobile/

    Once your phone is linked, you just send the phrase "otp" to your carrier's Facebook mobile number (on Telstra it's 019832665) and it will reply with your one-time-password.

      Thanks for the insight Alan. Interesting that Facebook itself didn't realise that option was around . . .

    Odd. As soon as I saw the post about OTP I tried SMSing the US number. Worked just fine on my Optus post-paid.

    I've never had trouble SMSing to overseas longcodes, but it is more expensive. It's the first time I've tried a foreign shortcode, but it worked.

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