Meta-owned Facebook has taken a few steps to make sure that users don’t lose their accounts to predators and pretenders, especially the ones who are at most risk of being hacked. The social networking platform has upgraded its ‘Protect’ program that was created to give additional security features to politicians, human rights activists, journalists and other ‘at-risk’ users. Facebook revealed that it’ll need users to be a part of this program to turn on two-factor authentication, at a press meet with the media.
The social networking giant will globally begin implementing the new rule over the next few months. For US users, this requirement will be made mandatory within February 2021. Facebook explained that it developed the enrollment program and the use of two-factor authentication on their platform “as frictionless as possible for these groups of people by providing better user experience and support.” It also mentioned that it might take some time for every user to be able to obey the new rule, as the platform is not actively used by everyone. But Facebook and its parent company Meta seem to be satisfied with the early test results.
Meta’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher said, “So far, it’s actually going very, very well we’re seeing well above 90% of people successfully enabling it ahead of that mandatory period.” Facebook tested the Protect program for the first time back in 2018 and promoted it to the US politicians before the 2020 US Elections. It widened the scope of the program and opened it up for more users. The social media platform is now on its way to making this program available in 50+ countries by the end of 2021 (which includes the US and India), where the platform has the most number of its users.
Gleicher confirmed that over 1.5 million users have already enrolled for the program and 950,000 have already switched to the two-factor authentication. He also mentioned that this two-factor authentication is a feature on the platform that remains underutilised, with only 4 per cent of the monthly users enabling it. Although, the company has no plans to make people outside of the Protect program switch it on.