Have you received an email purporting to be from Facebook that your account requires advanced security from Facebook Protect? The email may also create an urgent need to activate Facebook Protect shortly; otherwise your account will be locked out and that’s why it seems suspicious.
The email is legitimate, and parent company Meta has sent it to accounts with a larger reach on Facebook, but it may still seem like a scam to you. What options do you have to verify legitimacy? And how should you react if it turns out to be a fraud?
[email protected] is the email address that Facebook uses to send security-related emails to its users. If you receive an email from the same email address that contains the same email domain (@facebookmail), it is legitimate and comes from Facebook. You should follow the instructions in the email.
Facebook has sent a special security email to accounts with a large audience, who run important pages, or who have high community importance, especially from an address that reads “[email protected]”.
In the email, Facebook says the person receiving it has a wider reach on the platform, so they may be more vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals. To counter that, the email encourages them to enable Facebook Protect on their accounts, which is an exclusive feature for restricted users.
Although the general content of the email appears genuine, it loses some credibility when users are told that they will be locked out of their accounts if they do not activate Facebook Protect by a certain date. While this urgency should raise suspicion, rest assured that the official email from Facebook will contain this urgency clause.
Facebook cares more about your privacy and wants you to enable the relatively new Facebook Protect feature to make your account more secure. It’s that simple!
But could the email asking you to activate Facebook Protect also be a scam? It is possible…
Is the Facebook Protect email a scam?
When companies like Meta send out a specific email to a large audience, fraudsters use it as a launching point to carry out phishing attacks. They make an email look official and use the same context to trick users, and that could also be the case with the Facebook Protect email you just received – although the chances are relatively slim right now.
In light of this, you should make sure that the email asking you to activate Facebook Protect comes from Facebook itself, so that you can avoid being scammed. But how can you confirm it?
How to check the email you received from Facebook is legitimate
Perform the following checks to verify that the email you received from Facebook is legitimate:
- In most cases, Facebook sends the email to activate Facebook Protect with the email address “[email protected]”. Is the email address you received the email from different from this one? If so, you may be dealing with a scam.
- Facebook does not include a link in the email to enable Facebook Protect, nor does it direct users to log in directly from the email. So if the email you received contains links and buttons, it is a scam.
- Facebook also allows users to view recent emails they received in their account security settings. There is another way to verify the legitimacy of the email. For this, log into your account, click on profile icon in the top right corner, navigate to Settings and Privacy > Settingsand then click Security and login in the left sidebar.
Afterwards you click on View button next to it See recent emails from Facebook under Advanced.
If the same email you received appears here, it is official. Otherwise it’s a scam.
How to reply to a legitimate Facebook Protect email
If the email you received from Facebook asking you to enable Facebook Protect meets all three conditions listed above, enable it for your own security. You can enable Facebook Protect by following these steps:
- Log in to your account.
- click on profile icon Upper right.
- Navigate to Settings and Privacy > Settings.
- click on Security and login tab in the left sidebar.
- click on Got started button next to it Facebook Protect.
- Then follow the on-screen instructions to activate Facebook Protect.
The Facebook Protect feature is only available to a limited number of Facebook users. And Facebook removes this feature from certain accounts when it feels the account no longer meets the criteria to enjoy it. If you can’t find this option despite having activated it before, it means that your account no longer meets the eligibility criteria. So don’t worry it was a scam!
How to respond to a fake Facebook Protect email
If the email you allegedly received from Facebook asking you to activate Facebook Protect does not meet the conditions listed above, it is a scam.
Do not click on any links or buttons that claim to help you activate Facebook Protect or sign in. Do not open any attachments in the email. Also, block the sender who sent the email and delete the message.
What to do if you fall for a fake Facebook Protect Email scam
If scammers get the best of you and you fall for the fake Facebook Protect email scam, you should take immediate action to minimize the damage they can cause. If your account has been hacked after clicking on a link in an email, don’t waste time trying to recover your account.
Once you’ve restored it, make sure no changes have been made to the admin permissions on your Facebook pages; review recent posts made through your account; review comments made via your profile; and analyze any other activity that may negatively affect your reputation.
Message your friends to let them know what happened, and warn them not to follow anything they received from you during the time you didn’t have access to your account. You should also disconnect from apps or websites where your account was used to sign in. These are the simple things you should do if your Facebook account gets hacked.
If you clicked on a link in the email and it downloaded software, delete it and run a malware scan to make sure your device isn’t infected.
Keep your eyes open for scam emails
Scammers are very good at impersonating official emails and making them appear legitimate. Hopefully, knowing the context of Facebook Protect emails will help you distinguish fake emails from real ones. Additionally, these tips will help you limit the damage if you mistakenly fall victim to such phishing emails.