Geo-IP Security: Option Three

This is an pretty old post from my blog, which has been preserved in case its content is of any interest. You might want to go back to the homepage to see some more recent stuff.

Facebook, and many other online services, have an almost-clever security measure that tries to protect users against account theft. It uses your IP address to do a “Geo-IP” lookup – that is, to figure out roughly where in the world you normally access the site from. If an access attempt happens from elsewhere, the user will have to supply extra information to log in – often an “identify this person from their tagged photos” quiz.

Even if you pass this test of your identity, however, strange things sometimes happen – after a recent trip to France I found myself having to re-authenticate all my apps, and after a few days in Germany, my friend Pete could only restore normal service by changing his password.

I can see how this feature could be useful for some people – perhaps even the majority – but for some it has the potential to be a major irritation. Not only is there no way to disable it in Facebook’s case, there’s also no way of venting your frustration when it goes horribly wrong.

For this reason, I suggest that Facebook’s settings page needs the following options:


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