What is Facebook Protect? Here’s why you might be compelled to turn it on

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Facebook protection

Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNet

When I log into my Facebook, I get an annoying notification that says, “You have three days left to turn on Facebook Protect,” threatening to lock me out of my account if I don’t. This got me thinking about what Facebook Security is and what that notification is all about. Here are my results.

Facebook Protect was launched in 2019 to provide an extra layer of protection for users of accounts that are more vulnerable or vulnerable to being hacked, aimed at public officials such as candidates or elected officials for federal, state and local office.

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Then, in 2021, Facebook Protect was extended to users who are more susceptible to being targeted by malicious actors, including journalists, human rights defenders, and more.

Once Facebook thinks you’re someone who qualifies for this extra layer of protection, you’ll be alerted by an in-app notification or email. To make sure the email threatening to lock you out of your account isn’t a phishing attempt, you can verify that the email came from security@facebookmail.com.

The good news is that if you do not receive the notification, no action is required on your part. However, if you’ve been selected, like me, you have fourteen days to make the switch, or your Facebook account will be locked until you do.

The purpose of mandating the switch to Facebook Protect is to protect the accounts of highly targeted communities that might otherwise forgo taking extra precautions to further protect their accounts.

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So what does Facebook protect? What Facebook Protect does is simplify and mandate the enrollment process of using strong passwords and two-factor authentication, two steps all users must take to secure their accounts.

Only eligible users can activate Facebook Security by clicking their profile picture in the upper right corner, then Settings & Privacy > Settings > Security & Login > Facebook Security > Start.

For all other users interested in keeping their accounts secure, you can turn on two-factor notifications by going to Security and login settings > Use two-factor authentication > Edit, then click the security method you want to add.

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