This Summer, after being added to a client’s Facebook Business account, so I could access their analytics as part of a social media audit, I found myself locked out of Facebook messenger. I kept getting notifications that I had messages to read, but I couldn’t actually read any of them.
Eventually, after I attempted to use Facebook to sign in to another app, I found out what was going on—Facebook had flagged me as a business user, and was requiring two-factor authentication on my account.
While I voluntarily have this level of security on other online accounts, it’s not something I opted into for Facebook. But, nevertheless, it’s now something I have to do every time I use my Facebook login anywhere.
You see, this change in Facebook’s functionality—requiring anyone using Facebook’s Business Manager or advertising on Facebook—started around the same time that Apple updated its iOS privacy settings, making it easier to manage—and block—the data that you share with sites like Facebook.
Now, if you don’t allow Facebook to recognize and track your browser, you have to enter an authentication code every time you log in to Facebook or use your Facebook login on another site. Here’s how Facebook positions it:
“We need to be able to remember your computer and browser information so we can recognize it the next time you log in. Some browser features block this. If you’ve turned on private browsing or set up your browser to clear your history every time it closes, you might have to enter a code every time you log in.”
Facebook has pushed out the two-factor authentication requirement to many Facebook page owners, after classifying their pages as business pages. Often, the page owners have no idea what’s going on, and many even consider abandoning their pages and Facebook altogether when they stop being able to access their messages. It was seeing one of my favorite page admins struggling with this process that inspired me to write this post.
Right now, if this happens to you, you have two choices: ditch Facebook or turn on their two-factor authentication. So, if Facebook is an important part of your business, and you need some assistance with figuring out what to do, read on!
What is two-factor authentication?
Given that we live in a primarily digital-first world, having good online security is crucial to protect your data. Two-factor authentication is an incredibly useful line of defense against potential wrongdoers online.
Two-factor authentication is sometimes called two-step verification or dual-factor authentication. These all mean the same thing. Two-factor authentication relies on two elements to confirm your identity when you attempt to access your online accounts from an unrecognized device. Your password is commonly the first factor, and the second factor can be something like a text message with a code to a trusted device, an application that confirms your identity, or something like a fingerprint or face scan.
If someone were to gain access to your account passwords, your two-factor authentication setup can help to stop this person from actually accessing your account. After they use your password to attempt to log in to your account, they will be asked for the second form of verification.
Facebook provides more background on its two-factor authentication here.
How to Enable Your Required Two-Factor Authentication on Facebook
Facebook’s new verification process will first impact Pages with “large followings” in the US, with similar features headed to Instagram soon. We anticipate that two-factor authentication will soon become a standard for all pages on the site.
Setting up two-factor authentication on Facebook can be done in just a few clicks on either the mobile app or through the desktop site. It can be difficult to know where to go, though, so we’ve broken the process down into steps below.
If video is your preferred learning method, you can watch this video Alek on our team recorded to provide a walkthrough of the steps to enable Facebook two-factor authentication on your desktop computer.
How to Enable Facebook Two-Factor Authentication on Your Desktop Computer: Method 1
On the desktop browser, follow these steps to enable two-factor authentication for your Facebook account:
- Go to “Settings.” This link should take you there directly.
- Click the dropdown box in the top right menu.
- Select “Setting & Privacy” from the dropdown.
- Select “Settings” from the new menu options.
- From the “Settings” menu, select “Security and Login” from the left side (directly below “General”).
- From the “Security and Login” menu, scroll down to the “Two-Factor Authentication” section and select “Use two-factor authentication.”
- Select your preferred two-factor authentication method:
- Authentication App: If you select this option, you will scan a QR code or enter a code into your preferred third-party authenticator app.
- Text message (SMS): Choose this option to receive a text message (SMS) to receive a verification code.
- Security key: In place of a code, select this option to use a physical security key that you insert into your computer to verify your identity. I use this Yubico security key (Amazon affiliate link) for some of my enterprise client applications.
How to Enable Facebook Two-Factor Authentication on Your Desktop: Method 2
You can also follow these steps to access the two-factor authentication settings on desktop:
- Go to “Privacy Shortcuts”
- Click the dropdown box in the top right menu.
- Select “Settings & Privacy” from the dropdown.
- Select “Privacy shortcuts” from the menu.
- Select “Use two-factor authentication” from the “Account Security” header
- Select your preferred two-factor authentication method (see below for options)
How to Enable Facebook Two-Factor Authentication on Your Mobile Device
You can enable two-factor authentication for Facebook on your mobile device following these steps:
- Select “Menu” in the bottom right corner.
- Scroll down to and click the “Settings and Privacy” menu.
- Select “Settings” from the dropdown.
- Click “Password and Security” from the new menu.
- Select “Use two-factor authentication” from the “Two-Factor Authentication” section.
- Select your preferred two-factor authentication method (see below for options).
Authentication App Options for Facebook’s Two-factor Authentication
If you choose to use an authentication app for two-factor authentication, Facebook recommends two applications: Google Authenticator and Duo Mobile. We recommend you look into other options, too, so that you feel fully secure with your online identity.
As noted by PCMag, you want an authenticator app that will back up the account information in case you lose or replace the phone that you set everything up on. Google Authenticator does not enable this.
While I use Duo Mobile and it generally receives positive reviews, reputable media outlets like The New York Times, Gizmodo, and PCMag all praise Twilio’s Authy as a great authentication option. Microsoft Authenticator and LastPass Authenticator are also strong options depending on your exact needs.