New Cybersecurity Changes to Facebook for Businesses

Page Publishing Authorization

If you are the admin of a Facebook business page or multiple business pages and one or more of those pages has the potential to reach a high volume of viewers; you more than likely got this message on August 15, 2018, relating to Facebook cybersecurity:


Why is Facebook making these changes?

Facebook announced on August 10, 2018, that they were making these changes to further secure pages in the United States with large followings and high potential reaches and make it more difficult for people administer a page from a fake or compromised account. Facebook’s stated goal is to prevent organizations and individuals from creating accounts that mislead people about who they are or what they are doing.

These changes will also make it harder for Facebook accounts to be hijacked or hacked by third-parties. Because of that, it is a good idea that all Facebook users update their settings, not just page admins, as a best practice.

These new policy changes from Facebook will make a sizable amount of American Facebook users more secure.

What will your customers and potential clients see?
As part of this on-going effort from Facebook to increase transparency and prevent bad-actors from abusing the platform, your customers and potential clients will now be able to see:

  • All of the ads that you are running on Facebook, Instagram, and any of Facebook’s other network partners; even if those ads aren’t specifically targeting the customer or potential client’s demographics.
  • More page info. Even if you aren’t doing any paid advertising on Facebook, people who visit your Facebook page will be able to see any recent name changes of your page and the date the Facebook page was created.
  • If your page has merged with another page, in your page’s history.
  • A new section added to each page called ‘People who manage this Page,’ which will show the primary country locations from which a page is managed.

Which businesses do these changes specifically apply to?

Unfortunately, Facebook keeps its algorithms a very guarded secret, but it’s safe to say that it is any business that has a high potential reach. Facebook describes potential reach as:

“An estimation of how many people are in an ad set’s target audience. This estimation is a unique calculation by Facebook (more on our methodology below) and isn’t intended to align with third-party calculations or population census data. It updates in real time as you create or edit your ad set to help you understand how your targeting and placement choices affect the number of people you could reach.”

Does potential reach apply to just paid-advertising?
No. Potential reach will also apply to your Organic Reach, meaning the potential amount of people you might be able to reach on any given day without paid advertising. But this change to ‘Page Publishing Authorization’ will affect your potential reach, whether it is via paid or organic reach.

How do you know what your potential reach is?
At the top of your Facebook business page, you see all of your page administration options:

Make sure that ‘Insights’ is selected in that top bar, and then when you are on the ‘Insights’ page, make sure to select ‘Reach’ from the side menu:

If you scroll down to the bottom of that page, the very last analytic is ‘Total Reach’, the number of people who had any content from your Page or about your Page enter their screen. This might include people who liked, shared, or commented on any of your posts and also can include people who viewed your post in their feed without liking or commenting on it. Here is what your ‘Total Reach’ should look like:

You can even compare your average performance over time to get a better idea of what your average potential reach may be on any given month:

So, what is Facebook considering a ‘High Potential Reach?’

Again, since Facebook keeps its algorithms and thresholds generally an internal measurement and unknown to the general public, it’s difficult to know what that number is. However, Facebook has said that it takes some of the following things into consideration:

  • Facebook user behaviors (ex: Pages people liked)
  • User demographics (ex: self-reported age and gender)
  • Location data (ex: device technology and information)

How do you know if your Facebook business page has a ‘High Potential Reach?’
When you or one of the administrators for your business page logged on to Facebook on August 15, 2018, you would have seen an alert to change your ‘Page Publishing Authorizations’ settings. If you didn’t see the alert, you might have scrolled past it without noticing or you may not have a ‘High Potential Reach.’

If you don’t have a ‘High Potential Reach,’ you should still update your Facebook settings if your business is growing, plan on growing, or plan on implementing either a Facebook advertising strategy or organic growth strategy anytime in the future.

Updating Your Settings

First, you will have to go to your Facebook settings, which is under the drop-down arrow at your top Facebook tool-bar:

Once you are in your Facebook setting, the very top option on your left menu is where you can find your general settings:

Once you are in your ‘General’ settings and choose ‘Identity Confirmation.’ This will allow you to both to ‘Secure Your Account’ and ‘Confirm Your Primary Country Location.’

What do you have to do?

‘Confirming Your Primary Country Location’ is pretty straight forward and will require you to turn on your location settings and then confirm via text message. ‘Securing Your Account’ will require you to turn on and then verify your account through two-factor authentication.

The process will only take a few minutes and you will have to repeat similar measures on Instagram very soon.

CIS can help secure your entire business network from your servers to your social media. To learn more, contact us today.


Published On: August 21, 2018Categories: Cybersecurity, Social Media