First we can let you know that the banner above the newsfeed – as long as it looks similar to what’s in this picture – is indeed from Facebook. We have several images for you below from the Facebook Help Center and various settings on Facebook, as well as several links to help you figure out what this is all about. Make sure to read the FULL POST carefully or you may miss something very important to your account.
The reason that Facebook wants your phone number is for ACCOUNT VERIFICATION and ACCOUNT RECOVERY. That means that if Facebook randomly decides to check and see if you are a real person, they lock your account. With a phone number on your account, they simply text you a code, you enter the code into the login screen and your account unlocks.
Also, if you log in from a strange location, or anything else happens that causes Facebook to question whether you have been hacked, they will lock your account in a similar way. DO NOT EVER USE A FAKE NUMBER. If you do, you will not be able to receive the code that Facebook sends. This will mean that it will be difficult if not impossible to EVER get your account and farms back.
What’s more, the person who’s number the phone number you invent really is, could easily search by their own phone number, find your account, unlock it , change the password and help themselves to whatever payment info you may have stored there. Give a fake number and you may be handing over your account to a hacker.
Note Facebook simply asks for a phone number. They text a code to that number. Reports on success of recovering accounts from a home phone or other phone unable to receive texts vary. Mobile with ability to receive texts is safest , use anything else at your own risk.
It is always wise to be careful. If you do not want to go through the popup, you can take control and go in through your settings to add your mobile number.
To add a mobile number simply click on the gear at the upper right of your homepage and click “account settings”
Then click “Mobile” on the left.
You will then be brought to the screen to add your phone number. Note that you will need to activate texts for them to contact you. You will also need to re-enter your password to access this menu. It will also show your phone number where the blue rectangle is once you have successfully added it.
If you ever lose your phone, or change your mobile number you will need to update it immediately, for the reasons mentioned above . To make sure no one can do this without your permission, you will need to re-enter your password to do so.
If you change mobile carriers, even if, your number is the same you will need to reconnect your number by texting a code to Facebook. To find the code you will need to use, based on the country that you live in, click here.
Once you have uploaded your number, you will want to set / check your privacy settings for it. You can lock your phone number to any of the same options as any other post on Facebook. If you wish to be the only one who can see it, opt for “only me”. If you wish to have close friends and family able to retrieve your number that way when they get new phones, choose “custom” “specific people” and list them.
To set privacy for your phone number, go to your timeline and click on “about”
Scroll down to “Contact Information” and click “Edit”
Then simply set the privacy as you see fit, the same as you would on any other post
Once you have a phone number on your account, there is one other thing to consider – privacy settings for those who ALREADY HAVE YOUR NUMBER.
Go to the gear in the upper right and click “Privacy Settings”
Then click “Edit” next to “Who can look me up” and set privacy for who can look you up with your phone number.
If you opt NOT to change privacy settings for who can look you up – Facebook will NOT give your number to anyone who does not ALREADY HAVE IT. If you have this setting at EVERYONE, than anyone with your number can find your Facebook that way.
For example, if you applied for a job and had who can look me up at EVERYONE, the hiring manager could plug your phone number into search, find your account and review your public posts before ever deciding for sure whether or not to even interview you. How you feel about that is up to you.
There are other opt-in uses for your phone number on Facebook (Including the ability to download apps for Facebook as a whole or Facebook Messenger to your smart phone, or to have messages or status updates sent to you in the form of texts. You can enable or disable these settings in mobile settings under account settings as well.
OTHER OPTIONS FOR ACCOUNT RECOVERY
If you do not wish to add your phone number, there are some other options for account recovery.
Some users have the option of setting up a Security Question (click here for more info). If you add a security question, choose it wisely. This is a one time option on Facebook and you will never be allowed to update it.
Facebook may require you to verify photo's of your friends. Facebook will randomly select 40 photos from different friends, which may include any photo on their account. You can skip up to 2 photos and you cannot have ANY wrong answers to get your account back this way. If your friends are apt to share the same photos, or family is all posting pictures from the same gathering, this option could easily prove to be a nightmare. To read more from Inside Facebook, click here.
Another option to secure your account is to provide TRUSTED CONTACTS. This is a list of 3 to 5 people that you know well enough to CONTACT OUTSIDE OF FACEBOOK VIA PHONE OR OTHER MEANS. You simply input their profile link, and then if you were locked out, Facebook would message THEM the code to get back in. You would need to be able to contact them to get it – and to be able to trust them completely with it. You will not be able to access your account until AFTER you get the code from them, so make sure you can contact them elsewhere.
Go to the gear at upper right of home page, click “account settings”
Then click on “security” on the left
Click edit next to trusted contacts
Choose your trusted contacts and start typing their names. They will appear to be tagged where the blue rectangle is on the image below. Then click “confirm”
You should then see the profile pictures of your trusted contacts where the blue box is below.
Even if you do opt in to a mobile number you can use trusted contacts as backup. I have my mobile number on my account AND my mother, my honey and a very close friend as trusted contacts.
When you add a trusted contact, Facebook will message them and advise them that you have done so – make sure to let them know first so they don’t mistake the message for spam.
If you do not have a phone number or security question or trusted contacts, and cannot pass the photo check,Facebook will not allow you to access your account without uploading your Government ID such as Driver’s License or Passport. Personally I would much rather allow a code to be texted to my mobile phone, than be forced into this invasive option or lose my account. For a list of exactly what types of ID Facebook accepts, directly from the Facebook Help Center, click here.
You can be locked out for something as simple as too many tries at a forgotten password. Personally, I have been locked out, when my smart phone bounced off a tower 400 miles away, and Facebook deemed that suspicious since I had logged in an hour earlier on my laptop. I hit a button, the code was texted to my phone and I entered it and was able to log back in – simple and easy. Know your options, be well informed, and protect your account and your farms.