I'm an engineer with 20+ Years of Exp in Java/.Net/the kitchen sink/etc. and very regular user of the site.
Sometimes I feel pity for the poor engineer that's going to be stuck with his problem because I can't lend them a hand.
So... There's something very broken with our UI, because this question comes up quite a bit. I mean a lot. Waaaay more often than it should. I say this to reassure you that this isn't your fault, and that you're not alone.
Fortunately, there's an easy solution:
If, instead of finding the text area shown in step #3, you find this:
...then please see: What is a “protected” question?