Facebook understands two things. The first is that you are constantly clicking on links on the social network. The second: those links might not always be safe and might contain viruses or malware.
With that, Facebook has partnered with anti-virus software companies, including Microsoft, McAfee, TrendMicro, Sophos and Symantec, and is announcing two major security steps today.
Facebook will now incorporate the malicious URL databases from these security software companies into its URL blacklist systems. That means that whenever any of the 845 million people who use Facebook click a link they will be protected by this back-end system, and hopefully blocked from going to a malicious or unsafe site.
"We are excited to be partnering with leaders in the anti-virus industry to better protect our users both on and off of Facebook," Facebook's Chief Security Officer, Joe Sullivan, told ABC News. "Starting today, we will be incorporating the combined intelligence of these vendors to Facebook's existing database of malicious URLs, and offering a wide selection of anti-virus software to our users."
That part about offering anti-virus software is the second major security move Facebook is making. Facebook is rolling out a new AV (Anti-Virus) Marketplace for Facebook users. Any Facebook user will now be able to download free anti-virus software from Microsoft, McAfee, TrendMicro, Sophos, or Symantec at on.fb.me/FBAVMarketplace. Facebook had an existing program like this with McAfee, but Facebook is putting more emphasis now on these offerings with a dedicated page.
Facebook and its software partners will provide six months of protection. While these programs help with more than URL protection and Facebook activity, Facebook maintains that this will help protect users on and off the website. The AV Marketplace is now up and running on Facebook.com.