The brand new Facebook Protect feature is here to provide higher security for users with more cyberattack risks and state-sponsored attacks. Here's all about the new feature. What is Facebook Protect?
Facebook Protect is a new feature offering higher security to users who are vulnerable to cyberattacks and state-sponsored attacks. The main focus of the service includes activists, human rights defenders, and journalists. However, it will eventually include government officials. When this feature is turned on, it will mandate the use of two-factor authentication (2FA). Additionally, it will offer users other protections.
Facebook Protect was first tested in 2018 in the US. However, it expanded broadly during the 2020 elections. Meta (formerly Facebook) plans on rolling out this service in almost 50 nations before the end of 2021. If you get a prompt from Facebook, it means that your account is deemed high risk. How exactly does it 'protect' users?
According to Nathaniel Gleicher, facebook's Head of Security, eligible users will soon see a prompt asking them to turn this feature. The program is aiming to protect the user's social media accounts from cyberattacks. In addition to mandatory 2FA, the firm will also monitor the account for extra security.“Facebook Protect enables additional automated defenses from our systems to help protect these accounts. We apply increased detection for the types of compromised efforts that human rights defenders, journalists, or government officials might face. It also flags these accounts in our internal systems. So we get a report about one of them. Or we see repeated targeting of one of them we know there could be more at stake,” explained Gleicher.
The system uses 2FA, a very useful defense mechanism for all accounts. According to Facebook, only 4 percent of Facebook accounts have the feature turned on. If you use 2FA, you will need to use a log-in code from an SMS. Alternatively, you can use an authentication app like Google Authenticator. So, if hackers somehow get hold of your login details, they still cannot gain access to your account without the code. What if you are eligible but have not got the prompt?
Facebook Protect is also rolling out in India but, it can take some time before you see the prompt. However, Facebook will soon start a process allowing users to register for the service.“We have a journalist registration program. For example, and several publications work proactively with us to make sure that their journalists are highlighted on our platform so that we can provide this additional protection,” explained Gleicher.
“We're also looking at automated detection systems that help us understand who should be getting these. We have several systems whereby, for example, journalistic organizations can make sure that their members are on these lists, think tanks and other highly targeted communities can make sure that their members are on these lists that they want them to be,” he added. The social media company is using various factors to decide which accounts are at risk. However, in the meantime, turning on your 2FA, irrespective of the risk is a good move.
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