U.S. News & World Report: Is It Safe To Send Money Via Facebook?

Facebook and U.S. DollarFacebook is rolling out a peer-to-peer payment system over the next few months that will allow users to store debit card information on the site and send money to their friends via Facebook Messenger. However, some have expressed skepticism about the payment feature, including a recent article in the U.S. News & World Report that asked whether it’ll be safe for users to send money at all.

Security expert Robert Siciliano told the Report that Facebook users who take advantage of the payment tool should implement the site’s Login Approvals, which function as a two-step authentication. That means that any time a user logs in to their Facebook account from a new or unrecognized device, they must enter a special code received via text message. If users don’t enable Login Approvals, their accounts could potentially be at risk when accessed on a public computer or when connected to an unprotected Wi-Fi network.

“Their credentials [could be] now in the hands of a criminal who might log in from overseas and begin to make transactions without the user’s knowledge,” Siciliano said. “It makes it close to impossible to compromise an account once these additional layers are in place.”

Of course, none of this will matter if users decline to use the feature; whether or not people will trust Facebook with such sensitive financial information certainly remains to be seen.