What is Facebook Protect and why is it leaving many users without access to their accounts?

Facebook Protect is an advanced security program that Meta designed for its main social network, to protect its most exposed users. Its implementation is mandatory in the accounts that the platform considers to be more susceptible to being hacked, such as those of politicians, journalists or human rights activists.

However, it has become a headache for many people. It is that those chosen for the program who did not activate this extra layer of protection manually before the deadline, are encountering the impossibility of re-entering their profiles. And part of the responsibility for this happening falls on Facebook itself, or the way it has chosen to communicate the launch of this feature.

Facebook has chosen to inform users about Facebook Protect via a super-generic email message that looks suspicious, to say the least. We are talking about an e-mail whose content gives a lot of spam vibes, which is even enhanced by the title: “Your account requires advanced security from Facebook Protect”.

And although the communication is legitimate, many users have dismissed it thinking that it could be a typical phishing attempt. After all, fake emails supposedly coming from Facebook are much more frequent than any user would prefer. The truth is that, when the time limit established by the platform to activate this function has expired, many users are now paying the consequences.

The Verge reports that by these hours the complaints on Twitter of those people who have lost access to their profiles have multiplied. It seems that the methods to recover the income using the additional verification methods (SMS or Google Authenticator) are not working correctly.

Facebook Protect is an extra layer of protection on the social network

Facebook Protect is not necessarily something new; in fact, the social network announced that it would expand its reach to more countries at the beginning of last December. However, every time the feature reaches new users, there are repeated complaints about the number of people who do not pay due attention to the notifications and end up losing access to the Meta platform.

Personally, I happened to receive the notification to activate Facebook Protect in early November 2021. The message indicated that, weeks later, access to my account would be blocked if I did not comply with the mandatory action to activate it.

As it has happened to many, the email generated mistrust in me. That is why I decided to enter the Facebook application in search of any reference to Facebook Protect; that way I wanted to corroborate that it was something legitimate. Fortunately, a banner appeared on the main screen of the app urging me to comply with what was indicated in the e-mail.

Therefore, it is likely that those who dismissed the Facebook email have also done the same with the poster within the social network itself. By this I mean that those who lost access to their account surely have a part of the responsibility in this story.

In any case, it is clear that Mark Zuckerberg's company could have chosen a better method to inform about Facebook Protect; It was through a push notification in the app, or with an email in a format that did not arouse so many suspicions of phishing or spam.