Do you have Facebook Protect activated? If not, Facebook may lock you out of your account. Earlier in 2021, Facebook introduced Facebook Protect, an added layer of security for people who are highly targeted by malicious hackers, including human rights defenders, journalists, and government officials. Several users, who fell under the targeted category, received emails titled “Your account requires advanced security from Facebook Protect” and asking them to turn on the Facebook Protect feature else Facebook would lock them out of their account.
“As part of our ongoing improvements to security, we’re expanding Facebook Protect, a program designed for people that are likely to be highly targeted by malicious hackers, including human rights defenders, journalists, and government officials,” Facebook said. The social media giant explained that people who should turn on the Facebook Protect were at the “center of critical communities for public debate. They enable democratic elections, hold governments and organizations accountable, and defend human rights around the world. Unfortunately, this also means that they are highly targeted by bad actors.”
When activated, Facebook safeguards the accounts of people by enabling strong security protection like two-factor authentication and monitoring for potential hacking threats. However, when Facebook sent an email to the users whose accounts were under threat, they mistook it for spam because Facebook’s email address firstname.lastname@example.org appeared rather spammy to the users. Many people ignored the email thinking it was another phishing attack.
Turns out it actually was not spammed, Facebook had sent emails to users. The deadline to activate Facebook Protect was March 17, but most people ignored the email and now they are locked out of their account. A Facebook user, who goes by the name Olivia Theissen, posted on Twitter saying, “I got locked out from Facebook indefinitely today because I didn’t respond to emails from FB (that looked like a scam) about its new Facebook Protect system, which I was required to enable by today. So far, the text and security key options don’t work, many reports.
Many users who missed the March 17 deadline got a message from Facebook explaining why they got logged out of their accounts. Facebook has also shared tips to restore their accounts, but it isn’t working for a lot of users. Some users, despite activating Facebook Protect, are facing issues with the two log-in fact. Another user who operates under the name ShawnDocket said in a tweet, “I haven’t been locked out yet, but whenever I try to turn on this “feature,” the SMS never even comes. Frankly, if I got locked out of @ Facebook, I’m not sure it would bother me very much at this point.”
However, users who have not received any emails from Facebook are at the risk of losing their accounts. Basically, you will not have to take any action unless you get a notification on Facebook that you’re eligible to enroll.