This may be the most valuable blog I write.
I promise, you want to read to the end.
You may not need this information now, but keep it in a safe place…especially if you use Facebook for your business!
Yep, it happened to me: I was locked out of Facebook for six weeks.
I wasn’t hacked…I didn’t forget my password…I didn’t violate terms…I didn’t use a prohibited word…I wasn’t reported for spam…
I was locked out because I enabled TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION (2FA) in my personal account to prevent it from being hacked.
Being locked out of my personal account also meant I couldn’t access my business page, client pages, Meta Business Suite, Ads Manager and Messenger.
Thankfully, someone on my team has access to my business page and client accounts, so it wasn’t a complete disaster.
Long horror story short:
- When I enabled 2FA, I selected the option to get a 6-digit code via SMS.
- Every time I tried to login, Facebook said it sent the code, but I never received it.
- Come to find out, you cannot use the same mobile # for 2FA as you do to reset your password, which I had done.
- Facebook offers no easy-to-find solution or customer support.
- I was screwed.
After COUNTLESS hours researching, submitting help requests, talking to everyone I knew who I thought might help me, and hitting dead ends…I stumbled across a Twitter channel for people who were locked out of their account due to 2FA: @FacebookSMS2FA.
While sifting through hundreds of comments that went back to 2019, I found the solution posted three months ago with step-by-step instructions and verbiage that held the key to getting Facebook’s attention: “I cannot access my data and need help.”
Facebook doesn’t care if you can’t access your account, but DATA AND PRIVACY is a whole other ballgame.
Once I submitted this form to Facebook’s Privacy and Data Team, the process went exactly like the post stated…after submitting my driver’s license as proof of identity, I was sent a link to log into my account.
I WAS IN.
And, guess what Facebook immediately made me do?
Setup 2FA! There was no getting around it.
This time, I used my husband’s mobile # and instantly received the code.
I’m sharing this horror story to make sure it doesn’t happen to YOU.
Safeguards to keep marketing your business on Facebook:
- Do not ever log out of Facebook on all devices simultaneously.
- When setting up 2FA, use an authenticator app or get recovery codes.
- If you select to receive SMS code, use someone else’s mobile # (unless you have more than one).
- Make someone you trust an admin of your business page and Meta Business Suite.
- Connect your Instagram account to your Facebook profile or page, so you can continue to share posts.
Needless to say, I have learned a lot along this six-week journey and hopefully, the silver lining is that I will be able to help my clients, and others, conquer Facebook issues that arise…as I know they will.
P.S. The Facebook links were active at the time of publication, but you know how they love to change things. 😉