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A protected page is a page where normal users are prevented from editing at all. Only a user with sysop permissions can edit a protected page. Likewise only sysop users can protect a page in the first place, or unprotect the page to lift the restriction.
There are several reasons why a particular page might be protected:
Page protection limits collaboration on the wiki content, and should be avoided where possible.
For sysop information see Help:Protecting and unprotecting pages