Today, Facebook announced several new safety features aimed at providing a more enjoyable social experience. The idea is to help keep users of Facebook informed while creating a “trusted environment.” On its blog, Facebook announced these new features, some of which were developed in responses to last month’s conference at the White House on bullying prevention. These features offer more resources for families that include children who use Facebook, as well as more social reporting tools to help users notify Facebook and their local community of inappropriate use of Facebook. Facebook also now features advanced security features to help prevent unauthorized access of Facebook profiles.
In its blog today, Facebook notes that during President Obama’s White House Conference on Bullying Prevention last month, Facebook announced plans to expand its existing safety resources with new content for families. Now, Facebook’s users can visit the redesigned Family Safety Center to find useful articles dedicated specifically for parents, teens, teachers and other community members with that include videos on safety and privacy, as well as many other resources. In the future there will also be a free guide to download for teachers that will hopefully help educators with social media in the classroom.
Additionally, Facebook has unveiled a new social reporting tool that allows Facebook users to notify a member of their community, such as a trusted friend, in addition to Facebook, when they see something inappropriate. For example, if you see an inappropriate photo you can click “Report this Photo” and by choosing the option that “this photo is harassing or bullying me” you can “get help from a trusted friend” by emailing the problem. This allows Facebook users to seek help from someone who may not be on Facebook. Facebook says that by encouraging people to seek help from friends, it hopes that many of these situations can be resolved face to face, rather than by involving Facebook.
Facebook is also starting to implement new security features including Two Factor Authentication, which will help prevent unauthorized access to your Facebook account. If you use this feature, Facebook will ask you to enter a code any time you try to log into Facebook from a new device. This additional security helps confirm that it’s really you trying to log in. Facebook also announced in improvement to Facebook’s use of HTTPS, which specifically benefits those on a network or using Wi-Fi. This was also an issue that was raised in the open letter that security firm Sophos addressed to Facebook yesterday. In response, and starting starting today, if you switch to using a non-HTTPS application on Facebook, Facebook will automatically switch your session back to HTTPS when you’re finished.
Do you think these new features will help make Facebook more secure? Let us know in the comments.