Facebook already has two anti-virus scanners built directly into its site, but with malware-related stories seemingly increasing in recent months, it’s decided that yet another will improve the chances of spotting dodgy software before it causes a major headache for its users.
After partnering with F-Secure and Trend Micro earlier this year, Facebook has now inked a deal with Slovakia-based security firm Eset to help bolster computer security and, in turn, prevent online accounts for services such as Facebook from being hacked, and machines from being compromised.
Facebook software engineer Chetan Gowda said it was the company’s aim to help block malicious links and harmful sites from populating the News Feeds and Messages of the service’s 1.35 billion users.
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Eset’s software, which has been incorporated into Facebook’s existing abuse detection and prevention systems, requires little effort to use. According to Gowda, if it detects suspicious or unusual behavior on your computer or mobile device, an alert will appear suggesting you scan it for malicious software. Then it’s simply a case of running the scan, checking the results, and disabling any detected malware.
The procedure can be undertaken without logging out of Facebook, “making it seamless and easy to clean up an infected device,” Gowda said.
He added that integrating Eset’s software with Facebook is an important step as “a larger number of providers increases the chances that malware will get caught and cleaned up, which will help people on Facebook keep their information more secure.”
One of the more recent scams to hit Facebook involved cybercriminals attempting to trick people into clicking on a link to a video titled naked woman eaten by shark.
Those hitting the link landed on a site that said you’d first need to download a plug-in to view the clip. Anyone following the instruction would then unwittingly download browser-hijacking malware instead, with such software able to perform a number of actions, including stealing personal information, spying on Web browsing activity, and corrupting or deleting files on a machine.