Why Meta Says Your Account Requires Facebook Protect

Facebook Protect helps candidates, their campaigns and elected officialed adopt stronger account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitors for potential hacking threats.

Mark Zuckerberg

What is Facebook Protect? This is a programme designed to protect accounts of users at high risk of being targeted by cybercriminals. The programme has been rolled out in Kenya and other countries.

The program was first tested in the US in 2018.

“Facebook Protect is a security program for the people that are most likely to be highly targeted by malicious hackers or other adversarial threats. These include human rights defenders, journalists and activists, and are often at the centre of public debate. They hold governments and companies accountable,” explained Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Security at Facebook.

“There are increased automated defenses that we enable on the backend to protect these accounts. It’s additional detection mechanisms that our systems and teams run. Accounts in this program are flagged within our systems so that if our investigators see, for example, repeated targeting of one of these, we know that there might be a particular risk if they were compromised,” Gleicher explained.

For Journalists, content creators or activists, Facebook will have a process in place to let them register. 

“We have a journalist registration program, for example, and a number of publications work proactively with us to make sure that their journalists are highlighted on our platform so that we can provide this additional protection,” he said.

“We’re also looking at automated detection systems that help us understand who should be getting these. We have a number of systems whereby, for example, journalistic organizations can make sure that their members are on these lists, think tanks and other highly targeted communities can make sure that their members are on these lists that they want them to be,” Gleicher said.

 Facebook Protect prompt

Most users have received a message prompt in their email stating that:

“Your account has the potential to reach a lot of people, so we require stronger security. We built Facebook Protect, an advanced security program, to help defend accounts like yours. 

Turn on Facebook Protect for your account by 17 December 2021. After that, you will be locked out of your account until you enable it.”