I was browsing through my emails last weekend, listening to the rain and wondering if I was too lazy to mop the rug, when I came across one with the subject line “Turn on Facebook Protect.”

“Your account requires advanced security from Facebook Protect,” it read, before warning me that if I didn’t enable it by a specific date, I’d be locked out of my account until I did. To get started, I was told to click the huge blue icon labeled “Turn on Facebook Protect.”

I knew it had to be a phishing email. Until I discovered it wasn’t.

Facebook, it turns out, is advocating for tighter security for “some people in the public spotlight,” and is encouraging those on its list to use more secure techniques like two-factor authentication. The company’s definition of “public eye” appears to be somewhat broad — for example, neither I nor several of my Verge colleagues who received it had large Facebook followings. But this isn’t necessarily a negative thing, and if you happen to fit Facebook’s definition of a person who qualifies for this program and receive an email from “security@facebookmail.com,” you can rest certain that it’s genuine.

If you do get one, but don’t want to hit any mysterious blue buttons, you can begin the process by following these steps:

  • 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)

Then simply follow the instructions. You won’t need to do anything further if you have a decently strong password and have already enabled 2FA; you’ll just receive a notification stating that you’re all set.

If you don’t receive one of those emails or don’t see “Facebook Protect” in your Facebook security settings, you can still enable 2FA in the “Security and Login” or “Password and Security” sections – it’s a good idea for everyone.


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