In today's digital age, many of us have become dependent on social media to communicate.
So when one Redding mom was locked out of her Facebook account and business pages for no apparent reason, she was devastated.
Redding mom, Jessica French thought she lost 12 years of family memories and contacts after being locked out of her Facebook account for what she thought was forever.
“I have a large amount of information on my Facebook that I never really thought could just disappear,” French said. “And so the thought of everything from my Facebook disappearing was frightening.”
French was chatting with a friend on Facebook Messenger, when she was suddenly locked out of her account for what Facebook said was suspicious activity.
She was then asked to submit a photo of herself to confirm her identity.
Which she did, but then she never heard back.
“There was no way for me to message them or email them and ask them what's going on or verify it was even real” French said. “So that was scariest.”
She said a lot of the photos she has on Facebook are from phones she no longer has that she never backed up.
Doing a quick Google search revealed what happened to French is part of the new security policy Facebook rolled out a few months ago which uses photos to verify an account whenever suspicious activity is detected.
But there were also numerous accounts of people being locked out of their accounts and never hearing back from Facebook similar to what happened to French.
“And I started thinking, I don't know how I'm going to survive without Facebook, which is kind of embarrassing to say,” she said. “But I think it's reality for a lot of people.”
French did some research and discovered you can download your entire Facebook history including photos, messages and contacts.
She recommends everyone do it regularly in case they do get locked out of their account indefinitely.
You can also use apps like Google Photos to automatically backup photos on your phone, or backup your phone on iTunes if you own an iPhone.
French said she trusted Facebook too much and won't put all her eggs in the same basket again.
“I had kind of used it like a backup file before, and I realized that was absolutely the wrong thing to do” she said. “And definitely have multiple places that you keep important information that you want saved even in the virtual world.”
We reached out to Facebook for details about what happened to French, but didn't hear back.
However, her account was restored a few hours after we did so.