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Facebook Protect email may look like a phishing scam, but it’s real

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In recent days, Facebook users have been receiving emails threatening to lock them out of their accounts unless they enable Facebook Protect. There is even a helpful link to “Turn On Facebook Protect” in the email. Understandably, some recipients were convinced that it was a phishing attack. Other than the Facebook logo, the email really does not do much to prove its validity. Thankfully, Facebook has confirmed that the emails are legitimate.

On Facebook’s Help Center, the company says that emails from security@facebookmail.com are indeed real. If you have an email from that address in your inbox, don’t worry — no one is trying to scam you. That said, the warning is real, and Facebook will lock you out of your account if you don’t comply. Get it taken care of ASAP.

That email from Facebook isn’t a scam

“Your account has the potential to reach a lot more people than an average Facebook user,” the email says. “Hackers are often motivated to attack accounts that have a lot of followers, run important Pages, or hold some community significance. To help defend against these targeted attacks, we require Facebook Protect for your account.”

Several people have taken to Twitter to express their irritation. Anyone who spends all day online knows how dangerous a link in a suspicious email can be. Nathaniel Gleicher, Meta’s head of security policy, suggested that this is still a work in progress:

When I received the email earlier this week, I immediately assumed that it was a phishing attempt. There was simply no way that Facebook would send me an curt email threatening to lock my account. That, of course, is precisely what happened. I found out when I opened the app on my phone and received a prompt about activating Facebook Protect. There has got to be a better way to inform users about this change.

How to turn on Facebook Protect

Thankfully, if you’re worried about clicking a link in a sketchy email, there are other ways. If you want to turn on Facebook Protect from Facebook.com, follow these steps:

  1. Click the down arrow in the top right of Facebook.
  2. Go to Settings & Privacy, then click Settings.
  3. Go to Security and Login.
  4. Under Facebook Protect, click Get Started.
  5. On the welcome screen, click Next.
  6. On the Facebook Protect benefits screen, click Next.
  7. We’ll scan your account for potential vulnerabilities and make suggestions on what to fix as you turn on Facebook Protect. Common suggestions of what to fix include choosing a stronger password or enabling two-factor authentication.
  8. Click Fix Now and follow the on-screen instructions to finish turning on Facebook Protect.

You should also see a prompt at the top of your feed in the Facebook mobile app. Just follow the steps in that prompt and you can move on with your life.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.