And now off to Facebook security settings, to enable login notifications & approvals.
And although I did activate “login notifications” at that point, I did not enable approvals (for reasons I don’t remember, maybe I was just being lazy).
Fast-forward to yesterday evening, when I received a mail from Facebook that stated that my account was temporarily locked because my is was logged into from a location I had never used before. I immediately changed my password and finally enabled “login approvals” this morning as well. “Approvals” sends a security code via SMS when logging in from an unknown location, which you’ll have to enter before effectively logging in. I was pleasantly surprised to see Facebook added a Google Authenticator-like code generator to their Android and iOS apps that you can use to generate a security code as well. Adding the extra security of login approval is easy enough. If you’re on Facebook or Google, you really should consider enabling those (with or without their respective smartphone-based security code generators).
One downside though; using an external chat client (Mozilla Thunderbird in my case) to access Facebook Chat over XMPP doesn’t work any more as Facebook doesn’t provide “application specific passwords” like Google does. Update: as Jensen points out in the comments below Facebook does have application passwords, so I reenabled Facebook Chat in Thunderbird. But that might be a good thing anyway, as the warning mail I received from Facebook seems to refer to the use of Facebook chat over XMPP;
It looks like someone logged into “Rtgw_xmpp_username_password_login” on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 9:04pm.
Although web security is something I like to dabble in, I can’t honestly say it always is on the top of my mind. Up until an hour ago, access to the vast amount of information that Google manages for me (including access to my Google Android account) was protected by nothing but a password. A rather strong password for that matter, but it wasn’t entirely random and it has been the same for quite some time now.
As access to important online services such as Google should ideally not only rely on just a password (session hijacking anyone?), I activated Google 2-step authentication. What this means is that access to Google (Mail, Docs, …) is now also limited to authenticated devices. If I try to access Google from another computer, I’ll have to authenticate the device using an SMS-challenge or a code generated by the Google Authenticator application on my Android-phone.
If you’re still unsure about what 2-step authentication entails, here’s a brief intro-video from Google:
So yeah, you can have my password now. Theoretically. If you really insist. But even if I do decide to give it to you, you still won’t be able to access my account. How’s that for peace of mind? And now off to Facebook security settings, to enable login notifications & approvals.