News from Facebook’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) Alex Stamos this week is that the social platform will now notify users if their account has been “compromised by an attacker suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state”. This latest announcement is a first for any social platform to actively warn users about potential attacks by a government organisation.

In his post the CSO even points out exactly why there is a new security protocol in place, “We do this because these types of attacks tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others”. It would be interesting to know what precipitated the changes, though they mention specifically that there has been no compromise of their platform by a government so far.

If a potential government hack is detected the following message will be appear –

ZoomSphere Facebook

Facebook won’t reveal how they know of a nation-state attack because they “need to protect the integrity of our methods and processes”. It’s reasonable though to assume that there has been a significant enough increase in some form of ‘negative traffic’ to warrant such an announcement. Facebook has received criticism for their relationship with governments in the past so this is some very positive PR in the other direction.

To make it harder for a government to hack your account you can turn on Login Approvals pre-emptively in three steps:

1. Go to Security Settings
2. Click the Login Approvals section
3. Check the box and click Save Changes

Click here to find out which governments love checking Facebook profiles the most.