‘Tis the season to have problems with Facebook, it seems.

A couple of days ago, a friend ran into trouble because she’d lost admin access to her business’s FB page. She was selling the business, including the page, but the new owners never received their login emails, and she had no way to get back in and resend because she’d revoked her own privileges. I solved this, after some fiddling, by discovering that the “owner” of the page was not her personal FB account but a business account under the same name, hidden in an obscure place. Once I got that reconnected, everything was sorted and she was able to transfer ownership. Win!

Then today I heard from a new client who had a very similar problem. She had Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on her business FB page, using her phone to authenticate, but her phone had suffered a mishap of the sort that no mere bowl of rice could undo. This time, the clue was in the message her computer was giving: “Facebook will ask for identification when accessed on a new device or browser”. Turns out she was still logged in to her old FB account, with all the business access, in a different web browser. I got in and reset the 2FA, and now she has everything she needs.

What does this tell us? Two things.

First, Facebook makes this sort of thing incredibly complicated, which is a serious problem given how much we all rely on it:

  • Multiple accounts of different types, attached to different menus that all look 90% identical.
  • “Security” that mainly exists to reassure you that you’re safe, without ever providing anything that anyone could call real safety.
  • And “help” that quite simply doesn’t exist: big companies like Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft save money by just not employing support staff.

This is all pretty bad.

But second, all of the above can be dealt with if you don’t give up. It may take some serious detective work, and it definitely helps to have all your computers and other devices in one spot in case we have to rummage around for that one bit of information that will answer all our questions. But it can be done!

My advice, which probably sounds a bit self-serving but I think I can justify it: if you have trouble, give Huon Computer Solutions a call. Fixing this sort of nonsense is What I Do. Maybe I can fix it for you too.