In early March, a group of Facebook users obtained a spam-like email titled “Your Account Requires Advanced Security from Facebook Protect.”
The email reads: This is a reminder to turn Facebook Protect on by March 17, 2022. You will then be blocked from accessing your account until you enable it.
The email prompts users to turn on Facebook Protect by clicking a link in the email.
Meta announced in December that it was beginning to require high-risk users to protect their accounts with two-factor authentication. With the program expanding to more than 50 countries by the end of the year.
It’s supposed to do things like making sure these accounts are monitored for hacking threats and are protected by 2FA.
According to the company, Facebook Protect is a security program for people who are likely to be targeted by malicious hackers, such as human rights defenders, journalists, and government officials. By December, about 1.5 million accounts had Facebook Protect enabled.
The email the company sent from firstname.lastname@example.org resembles a fairly common form of spam, so many people will likely ignore it.
But the email was real. The first deadline for many people was Thursday, March 17th.
And the notification says: Turn on Facebook Protect to unlock your account. Account closed on March 17, 2022. We have taken this precaution to keep your account secure while you enable additional security measures.
Facebook closed people’s accounts for not activating the protection feature
People are now banned from accessing their accounts via the platform and are having trouble with the process that the company introduced to get the accounts back.
It appears that those who did not activate Facebook Protect before their deadline receives a message explaining why they can’t access their account and offering to help them run Facebook Protect.
There have also been a variety of complaints across Twitter and other social networks about people being blocked from accessing their accounts even if they have the data. Some say that text-based 2FA does not work.
Others complained that they couldn’t get through the activation process even before the deadline, and were thus effectively banned from their accounts.