Early in March, a group of Facebook users received a suspicious, spam-like email headed “Your account requires advanced security from Facebook Protect” warning them they had to turn on Facebook Protect (through a link in the email) by a specified date or risk being locked out.
According to Facebook, the tool is designed to protect people like human rights campaigners, journalists, and government officials from harmful hackers. It’s supposed to secure those accounts from hacking threats and provide two-factor authentication (2FA). Unfortunately, the email from firstname.lastname@example.org looked like spam, so it was probably ignored.
It wasn’t spam, in fact it wasn’t. In truth, it was a genuine event. Many folks had a first deadline to meet on Thursday, March 17th, which was a Thursday. And now they’ve been locked out of their Facebook accounts — and they’re having problems figuring out how to get back in using the process that Facebook has set up for them.
Facebook is reportedly sending messages to those who did not turn on Facebook Protect before the deadline, explaining why they are unable to get into their accounts and offering to assist them in turning it back on. However, it does not always function properly:
There have also been a number of reports on Twitter and other social networking sites that people are being locked out of their accounts despite the fact that they have taken the necessary precautions to protect their accounts. Some people claim that their text-based two-factor authentication is simply not working:
Others have reported that they were unable to complete the activation procedure, even though they attempted to do so before the deadline, and as a result, they are effectively locked out of their accounts: It has been requested that we contact the firm to see if they have any advice for those who have been locked out because their Facebook Protected accounts cannot be accessed by anybody other than themselves. We’ll let you know as soon as we receive a response.