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Don't enable this setting and risk getting locked out of your Facebook account

Earlier this month, several Facebook users received an email from the incredibly   fake-looking email address, security@facebookmail.com, passed it off as spam, and are now locked out of their accounts. 

The email, entitled, “Your account requires advanced security from Facebook Protect'' told users who are at greater risk of being hacked that they have to turn on the new Facebook Protect feature by the 17th March, or they would no longer be able to access their account. As many didn’t click the link embedded into the email in fear of being hacked or scammed, they are now locked out of their accounts. 

Those who didn’t follow the link to set up Facebook Protect before the 17th March should have received a message that tells them why they’re locked out and helps them to turn it on. Despite this, many are having trouble doing just that. 

In a post on their website, the social media platform says that, “Facebook Protect helps candidates, their campaigns, and elected officials adopt stronger account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitors for potential hacking threats”.

However,  there seems to be issues with the implementation, as many cannot access their account despite signing up to use a code via text or third party authentication app for their account. Others signed up for the feature before the deadline but are still unable to access their account as the activation process didn’t work for them, and some didn’t receive a two-factor authentication code via text despite requesting one. 

In a tweet, the head of security policy at Meta, Nathaniel Gleicher wrote, “we’re continuing to improve the enrollment process and notifications to avoid confusion”. He also said that the company is “looking into isolated examples where people may need help enrolling in the program”. 

According to Meta, Facebook Protect is a feature aimed at those who are more likely to be targeted by hackers, including but not limited to activists, journalists, and government officials. It’s good that the company is thinking on its feet and trying to protect users who are more vulnerable to attacks but, with ineffective implementation, the feature has caused unnecessary stress for many, particularly those who rely on the platform for work and are now locked out of their account for the foreseeable future.

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