On Thursday, Meta, formerly Facebook, announced that its Facebook Protect security program would be expanded to include human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and government officials who are more likely to be targeted by bad actors on its social media platforms.
“These people are at the center of critical communities for public debate,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, the head of security policy at Meta. “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 allows users to enroll in the program and strengthen account security measures such as two-factor authentication (2FA) while also keeping an eye on potential hacking threats, which are currently being rolled out in phases around the world. According to Meta, more than 1.5 million accounts have enabled Facebook Protect since the feature’s widespread rollout in September 2021, with nearly 950,000 of those enabling 2FA.
The program is similar to Google’s Advanced Protection Program (APP), which aims to protect users with high visibility and sensitive data who are vulnerable to targeted online attacks by preventing unauthorized account takeover attempts and incorporating stringent checks before downloading files and software on Chrome and Gmail.
People who are potentially eligible for Facebook Protect will be notified via a Facebook prompt, with the option to enable advanced security features and identify any potential issues, such as a lack of a strong password, that could be exploited to gain access to their accounts.