Last weekend, I was scrolling through my email, listening to the rain and wondering whether I was feeling too lazy to vacuum the rug, when I came across one with the subject line “Turn on Facebook Protect.”
“Your account requires advanced security from Facebook Protect,” it said and proceeded to tell me that if I didn’t enable Facebook Protect by a certain date, I would be locked out of my account until I enabled it. I was instructed to click on the big blue button labeled “Turn on Facebook Protect” to get started.
I was sure it was a phishing email. Until I found out it wasn’t.
It turned out that Facebook is pushing higher security for “certain people in the public eye,” and so is encouraging those on its list to adopt better security methods such as two-factor authentication. The company’s interpretation of “public eye” seems to be rather generous — for example, I, and several colleagues of my Verge colleagues who received it, don’t have particularly high Facebook followings. But this is not a bad thing, and if you happen to fall into Facebook’s interpretation of somebody who qualifies for this program and you receive an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org,” you can be pretty sure it’s legit.
If you do get one but don’t want to press on mysterious blue buttons, you can start the process this way:
- Go to your Facebook page. (You may get a pop-up notice about Facebook Protect.)
- Click on the arrow in the upper right corner (desktop) or on the three-line “hamburger” icon (mobile)
- Select Settings & Privacy > Settings
- Select Security and Login (desktop) or Password and Security (mobile)
- Under Facebook Protect, you’ll see a note that “FaceBook Protect is Off.” Click on Get Started (desktop) or tap on the arrow (mobile)
After that, just follow the directions. If you have a reasonably strong password and have already enabled 2FA, then you won’t have anything else to do; you’ll simply get a message that says that you’re all set.
Incidentally, if you don’t get one of those emails and don’t see “Facebook Protect” in your Facebook security area, you can still enable 2FA in the “Security and Login” or “Password and Security” sections — it’s a good idea for everyone.