05
Sep
10

Forgetful Facebook fanatics can remotely kill other logged on sessions

Forgetful Facebook users and wannabe-burglars can now rest a little easier at night knowing that they can remotely log themselves out if they accidentally left logged-in sessions in other locations. Facebook users will soon be able to see where else they might be logged on, adding another layer of security to the social networking service.

Some of you may know the scenario all too well: you log into your Facebook account at your friend’s place or your parents’ house to check an event page or post a quick update. Then you forget to log out before you leave, which you realize after your friend has posted 30 penis photos to your profile wall. If you think this doesn’t really happen, think again: members of the Ars staff are constantly finding logged-in Facebook accounts at places like the Apple Store, and we aren’t always able to resist the temptation to post a (polite, but) embarrassing update to the user’s profile, reminding them to log out next time.

You’ll be able to go to Account > Account Settings > Account Security in order to see which devices are currently logged into Facebook as you. (The feature is slowly rolling out to all users, so it may not be available on every account just yet.) There, Facebook will provide a list of active sessions along with as much device and location info as it can gather.

You then get the choice to “end” each session by logging it out, and there are extra steps you can take if those sessions aren’t your own doing. “In the unlikely case that someone accesses your account without your permission, you can shut down the unauthorized login before resetting your password and taking other steps to secure your account and computer,” the Facebook team wrote on its blog.

This update follows one from earlier this year that allows Facebook users to authenticate each device they want to use to log into their accounts. When someone tries to log into a locked-down account on a new device, Facebook will ask a series of questions to ensure the user is who she says she is. And, Facebook says these features are just the beginning: “Stay tuned over the coming weeks and months for more improvements,” says Facebook.

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