Some Facebook users are reportedly unable to log in to their accounts, and it appears a new security feature may be to blame.
According to The Verge, users started receiving emails in early March telling them they needed to activate Facebook Protect on their accounts, and warning they would be locked out if they did not follow through. Unfortunately, the email looked similar to a common spam message, causing many users to ignore it, and ultimately get locked out.
Still other users did try to go through the process of activating Facebook Protect before the deadline, but were unable to successfully do so, ultimately leading to their account still being locked.
Fortunately, the vast majority of people will likely not be impacted. According to the company, Facebook Protect is largely designed to protect the accounts of high-profile individuals, such as those involved in journalism, human rights, and more, accounts that are more likely to be targeted by hackers and bad actors.
As part of our ongoing improvements to security, we’re expanding Facebook Protect, a program designed for people that are likely to be highly targeted by malicious hackers, including human rights defenders, journalists, and government officials.
These people are at the center of critical communities for public debate. They enable democratic elections, hold governments and organizations accountable, and defend human rights around the world. Unfortunately this also means that they are highly targeted by bad actors.
Facebook Protect helps these groups of people adopt stronger account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitors for potential hacking threats.
The Verge reached out to Facebook to see what individuals who are locked out can do to regain access to their accounts, but has not heard back.