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How to use Facebook Protect to secure your account
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Social media

Did you get a strange notification that you need to protect your Facebook account? It’s (probably) real

Social media is a hotbed for scams, and you can never be too careful about pop-ups and advertising. You might have received an email telling you that your account is compromised and you need to verify your details.

The chances are good that it was part of an elaborate phishing scam, but users have noticed another pop-up on Facebook over the last few days. The alert claims that you must activate a new function on the social media platform or risk losing access.

Read on to see why this is happening and if the notification is genuine.

Here’s the backstory

Whether you are on mobile or desktop, open your Facebook account, and a message supposedly from Meta about privacy and security changes will greet you. If you dismiss it, you’ll be informed that you must agree by March 17, or you’ll be locked out.

Is the message really from Facebook, or did someone hack your account? The pop-up that appears is genuine, but that doesn’t mean hackers won’t try to fool you in other ways. That’s why the social media platform rolled out Facebook Protect to make it harder for cybercriminals.

And the threat of locking you out of your account if you don’t enroll? Those are real, too, as the platform requires select users to enable the security update. In a blog post, Facebook details that it added “back-end threat detection” so that the company’s engineers can “quickly respond to compromise attempts.”

Facebook Protect was initially available to political candidates and elected officials, but Meta now requires journalists, activists and government officials to enroll.

“Your account has the potential to reach a lot more people than an average Facebook user. Hackers are often motivated to attack accounts with many followers, run important Pages or hold some community significance,” the message reads.

What you can do about it

Since a lot of the Facebook Protect communication is done through messages and email, hackers and scammers could, in theory, try to fool you too. So be cautious when clicking on a link in an email, especially if it requires you to verify your account.

If you see the pop-up or receive an email about Facebook Protect, you can check if it is genuine by navigating to the official Facebook Protect section on your profile. Here’s how to do it:

  • On your Facebook dashboard, click on the Account button at the top right.
  • Click Settings & Privacy.
  • Click Settings.
  • Tap Security and Login.
  • Scroll down to Facebook Protect and click Get Started. (NOTE: Facebook Protect isn’t available to everyone yet so, you might not see it in your account.)

Going through the steps should take you to the Welcome screen to enable the feature.

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