Facebook is putting in additional steps to protect accounts at the most risk of hacking or malicious attacks. The social media giant said it would require users of the Facebook Protect program to enable two-factor authentication or 2FA.
The Protect program is in place to offer additional layers of security to journalists, human rights activists, politicians, and other at-risk individuals.
Users that are part of the Facebook Protect program will now need to enable two-factor authentication over the next few months. Meanwhile, American users of the Protect program will have until mid to late February 2022 to adhere to the new norms, according to Engadget.
Facebook gave out the information during a press call with media outlets. The Meta-owned company also posted a blog post announcing the expansion of Facebook Protect to 50 more regions, including the U.S., India, and Portugal.
More than a million users have signed up for Facebook Protect since its global expansion in September
The Facebook Protect program came into existence in 2018, while it saw a broader expansion prior to the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. Over 1.5 million accounts have reportedly signed up for Facebook Protect since its global rollout in September this year.
Moreover, around 950,000 of these new users have enabled two-factor authentication. The company said it wants to make enabling 2FA “as frictionless as possible for these groups of people by providing better user experience and support.”
“So far, it’s actually going very, very well we’re seeing well above 90% of people successfully enabling ahead of that mandatory period,” Head of Security Policy at Meta, Nathaniel Gleicher said.
2FA is an important security feature for public figures, given the high likelihood of hacking or sabotage. Keeping this in mind, mandating users of its Protect program appears to be a logical move.
However, people outside the Protect program aren’t required to enable 2FA yet. This is surprising based on Gleicher’s own admission that only 4% of the users on the platform have signed up.
Signing up for Facebook Protect doesn’t require additional action. Eligible users will receive a notification to enroll in the program, the company said.
Facebook (now Meta) has undergone a revamping of sorts since its rebranding was announced. The company even went as far as announcing the closure of its Face Recognition system. This would see the deletion of more than a billion facial recognition templates. As a result, the Facebook app can no longer recognize individuals in photos/videos using AI algorithms. The company will likely restrict facial recognition to on-device tasks in the future.