Meta expands FB Protect security feature

Published December 2, 2021, 10:16 PM

by Art Samaniego

Meta is expanding Facebook Protect, a security program for groups of people more likely to be highly targeted by malicious hackers, such as human rights defenders, journalists, and government officials.

In a briefing, Nathaniel Gleicher, Meta’s Global Head of Cybersecurity Policy, said that the security program is for those at the center of public debate. “They enable Democratic elections, they hold governments and companies accountable, and they defend human rights around the world. Unfortunately, this also means that they are also highly targeted by bad actors.”

Facebook Protect is designed to do three things.

With FB Protect, the process is now simpler and straightforward. First, it helps users enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Two-factor authentication is a security feature that allows safeguarding Facebook accounts. Every time a user logs into Facebook from an unknown device, it requires something the user knows, such as the password. The user has either an SMS code sent to a mobile phone or a code generated by an authenticator app or physical hardware key. The password is the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your accounts; 2FA is an additional layer of protection that secures your account. Even if the hackers know your password, they cant take over your account without the code.

Second, Facebook Protect enables additional automated defenses from Facebook’s systems to help protect the accounts. This makes FB Protect different from just enabling 2FA in your accounts. With FB Protect, Facebook increased detection against hacking attempts for the group it is intended for.

Third, if Facebook sees repeated targeting of a particular account, the system would know that there might be a particular risk if the targeted accounts are compromised. Facebook would then protect the account.

Facebook began the Global rollout of Facebook Protect in September of this year. As of this month, more than 1.5 million accounts have enabled it, and of those, nearly 950 thousand accounts are new activations of the Two Factor authentication feature.

If you see the prompt asking you to enable Facebook Protect, go ahead do it because if you don’t, your account will be locked until you activate this security feature.


Cebuana Lhuiller and Moneygram put relationship on-hold, affects thousands of users

I got this message from my friend whose relatives are in the US. He regularly receives “Ayuda” from his brother via Cebuana Lhuiller through Moneygram. But recently he got a problem. Here’s his message:

“Hello, brother. I was beaming with excitement on my way to Cebuana Lhuillier recently to receive money from Kuya, as usual via Moneygram. You know that I have been availing of this service for years already, so understand my horror when I was informed that the service has been temporarily discontinued. I was also able to confirm this when I saw an announcement in Cebuana Lhuillier.”

I asked about this and found out that the partnership for several years has allowed Cebuana Lhuillier customers to receive remittances sent via MoneyGram to any one of its over 2,600 Cebuana Lhuillier branches nationwide.

Knowing the significant effect this would have on thousands of other Filipinos, I tried to find out the reason for the current discontinuance of service, and fortunately, I was able to get in touch with Cebuana Lhuillier Services Corporation General Manager Erl Sumanga.

“It is really unfortunate that we had to temporarily discontinue our Moneygram Service. Moneygram unilaterally made changes in our existing agreements, which we do not agree with, compelling us to temporarily discontinue the service at the moment in all our branches as well as in our partner agents to protect us, our partner agents as well as our clients. We want to apologize to our clients for the inconvenience this has caused them. We are currently in talks with Moneygram to resolve this, and hopefully, we will both be able to serve our Ka-Cebuana clients again together very soon.” said Ms. Sumanga.

I messaged my friend that this problem may be temporary and told him to hope that Moneygram and Cebuana Lhuillier will be able to quickly resolve whatever differences they may have to make this partnership work for the welfare of the clients.

I understand how my friend felt. Many Filipinos, including him, have long been using the services provided by both Cebuana Lhuillier and Moneygram, and he is greatly affected by this unfortunate scenario.

So, if you are like my friend who is affected and inconvenienced by this, I highly suggest that you call, email, and send a message to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and raise your concern. I told him to do it now.