Facebook users have had the option of adding “trusted contacts” to their profiles since 2013, but the app has been prompting users who haven’t chosen any such contacts to do so lately. The feature adds another level of security to the app by giving users an alternate way to recover their account if it gets hacked or compromised, or if they simply forget their password.

If Facebook has notified you to set up trusted contacts, you probably got the message upon opening your Facebook feed. It reads, “If you get locked out of your account, your friends can help.” The rest of the notice explains that users can choose three to five of their friends to receive a code that can be used to retrieve their account if necessary.

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A photo of the prompt from Facebook to set up "trusted contacts" on the social media site.

How to choose trusted contacts:

Setting up trusted contacts is fairly simple. Make sure you trust who you choose and that you’ll be able to contact them should you get locked out of your account. Select the icon that is three horizontal lines in the Facebook app and scroll down and select “Settings.” Then choose “Account Settings” and “Security and Login.” There you should see the option to “Choose friends to contact if you get locked out,” this might be under the “Recommended” tab. Select it and then choose your three to five Facebook friends that you will contact.

To use this feature if you’re locked out of your account go to the Facebook login page, select “Forgot account?” and enter your email address or phone number that’s associated with your account. Next select “No longer have access to these?” and enter a new phone number or email that you do have access to and choose “Continue.” Next select “Reveal my trusted contacts” and type the full Facebook name of one of those trusted contacts.

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Once you do this you’ll see more instructions and a URL that contains a code only those contacts can access. Facebook then recommends, “Call your friends and give them the URL so that they can open the link and give the security code to you.” You’ll use that security code to access your account. Facebook is very specific that you should call your trusted contact or speak to them in person when exchanging the URL and the code.

You can also recover your Facebook account using a phone number or an email if you have access to either that you used to register. And Facebook offers two-step verification for users looking for an added layer of security on their accounts. If your account is ever hacked Facebook has a page full of steps you can take to protect your account including changing your password immediately.