Facebook is now one of the most popular targets for phishers, hackers and scammers. According to the Associated Press, however, Facebook is in the process of rolling out some new security features that will protect its users from malicious attacks, spam and phishing scams. For a while now, Facebook already offered users the ability to be notified when an account was accessed from a computer or device they hadn't used before. Now, Facebook will also alert users of unusual activity on their accounts and allow users to register their devices with Facebook.

Update: Facebook just confirmed these new security updates on its blog. We have updated this post with more information.

Suspicious Logins

If somebody tries to access your account from the other side of the world, for example, Facebook will now notify you that something is amiss with your account and add an additional layer of authorization to the log-in process. According to Facebook, these additional verification methods could include asking for a your birth date (you did enter your real birth date on Facebook, didn't you?) or asking you to identify a friend in a picture and answering a standard security questions if you previously provided one.

Registered Devices

Users will now also be able to register their computers and other devices they use to access Facebook. Whenever somebody tries to log in from a device you haven't registered yet, Facebook will prompt them to name the device and send you an email. You can also choose to get SMS alerts as well.

These updates come just a few days after Jim Breyer, one of Facebook's own board members, fell for a phishing scam on the popular social networking site. Today's updates aren't likely to prevent these phishing scams, though it's good to see that Facebook is introducing additional security features.

Given the amount of negative publicity Facebook has been getting over its privacy policies and bewildering privacy settings, it only makes sense for Facebook to garner some good press by emphasizing these new security features now. On the other hand, those users who are already nervous about Facebook's own privacy issues aren't likely to be persuaded by this.