Facebook Protect is a program designed to increase the security of accounts that Facebook says face additional threats in an election cycle.
In late February and early March, some people on Facebook began receiving emails about “Facebook Protect.” The email warns the person that their account might be more susceptible to attacks by hackers because their account can reach a lot more people than the average Facebook user. It then says that person is required to turn on the new Facebook Protect to secure their account.
“Turn on Facebook Protect for your account by 17 March 2022,” reads an email sent to one Facebook user. “After that, you will be locked out of your account until you enable it.”
Some people on Facebook quoted the email or took a screenshot to ask their friends if they had received it and asking if it’s real.
Is this Facebook Protect email real?
Yes, Facebook is really sending users emails requiring them to turn on Facebook Protect.
WHAT WE FOUND
Facebook Protect is a program providing additional security to Facebook accounts “that face additional threats during an election cycle,” Facebook says. It started as a voluntary program when it began testing Facebook Protect in 2018, but Facebook began mandating it for some users in December 2021.
Facebook’s Help Center confirms that the social media service is legitimately sending out emails about Facebook Protect.
“If you received an email about Facebook Protect, you can confirm if we’ve sent it by checking that it came from email@example.com,” Facebook says. “Facebook will never ask you for your password in an email or Facebook message.”
Facebook Protect requires users to enable two-factor authorization (2FA), a security measure that requires a person to confirm their login through a text message, security key, email or third-party app. It also monitors accounts for potential hacking threats.
Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security at Facebook’s parent company Meta, said in a tweet that “a key goal of Facebook Protect is to increase 2FA use among highly-targeted communities.” Consumer Reports says two-factor authorization is “one of the best ways to protect your account.”
Once a person has received an email telling them to enroll in Facebook Protect, they have 15 days to turn it on or they will be locked out of their account until they do. If a person is eligible for Facebook Protect, they can go directly to Facebook’s “Security & Logins” setting page to turn it on.
Most accounts aren’t eligible for Facebook Protect. Facebook recommends people ineligible for Facebook Protect turn on two-factor authorization themselves to increase their account security.
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