I’m baffled: I went to sign in to Facebook yesterday from my boyfriend’s computer and rather than just log me in with my login and password it prompted me for a “security code”. Does he have some malware or is my account hacked or something?
Nothing’s wrong. In fact, at some point in the past you set up 2-step verification for your Facebook account, which was a super smart thing to do. It means that to get into your account on a new computer (like one a hacker might use after stealing your account credentials) you’ll need to know your login, your password and have access to your cellphone because Facebook is going to send a secret code via text message to your phone. Without that, you can’t log in. So you could share your password with hackers without worry (though note that I am not encouraging this behavior!)
Problem is, if you’ve signed up for this service and use the same computers week in and week out, you can completely forget that it’s enabled and end up worrying that something’s broken or that someone’s hacked your account. Ironically, you’ve done something to ensure it’s safer, and your reaction is that you’re worried it’s compromised. Ah, ain’t computers fun?
Since I too have a security code enabled (aka 2-step verification) for my Facebook account, I see the same thing when I use an unknown computer to log in.
It looks like this:
So how do you proceed from here? Well, you could (ahem) click on the “Having trouble?” link, but if you’re worried that something’s compromised, well, I can understand your lack of enthusiasm for trusting a link on a screen you fear might be hacked in the first place.
Here’s what you do: Simply launch the Facebook app on your phone. If you’re logged in, it automatically detects that you’re in a “waiting for security code” state in a browser and shows this:
Enter the code and you’re in. In fact, Facebook will then ask if it’s a safe system and should remember the browser and computer configuration:
If you’re worried that you won’t always have your smartphone with you, by the way, you can also get some other codes you can save in your purse or wallet for emergency use, as FB reminds you in the next window:
So that’s the scoop, and now you know how to find your security code and what it’s all about. It’s a good thing. Better login security is always good.
If you’d rather disable it – and I don’t recommend it – you can start by going to your Account Settings:
Then go to “Security” and look for the “Login Approvals” entry:
To change it, click on “Edit” and here’s what you’ll see:
If you really want to disable security code / login approval for your Facebook account, simply uncheck “Require a security code to access my account from unknown browsers” and click “Save Changes”. That’s all there is to it.