Facebook doubles number of antivirus partners

30 million users have accessed AV marketplace, which provides six month antivirus trials

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
October 16, 2012
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Apparently, Facebook has an antivirus marketplace, where users have the ability to download trial runs from different antivirus companies, as well as information on how to keep themselves safe.

This is something I honestly had no idea existed, though it seems like a lot of other people did, since Facebook now says that 30 million people have visited it in the six months since it was launched back in April.

Today, Facebook announced that the AV marketplace is getting a big expansion, more than doubling the number of antivirus companies whose software downloads will be available.

Facebook is adding seven new partners to the list of security companies. Users will now be able to download trials of avast!, AVG, Avira, Kaspersky, Panda, Total Defense, and Webroot. These new companies are joining the five original companies that partnered with Facebook: Microsoft, McAfee, Norton, TrendMicro and Sophos. There are now 12 antivirus companies participating in the AV marketplace.

In addition, Facebook also announced that many of these companies will also now be offering their services for mobile devices as well.

“Our new anti-virus partners bring with them both the latest software and comprehensive intelligence. As with our existing partners, these eight companies will help protect Facebook’s community of more than 1 billion users by improving our URL blacklist system,” Facebook wrote on its blog.

The new companies will also help Facebook improve its URL blacklist system, which Facebook says “scans trillions of clicks per day,” and that before every click the system will consult with the databases of the companies in the AV marketplace to make sure the site is safe.

“This means that whenever you click a link on our site, you are protected both by Facebook and 13 of the industry leaders in computer security. We will be cooperating with these partners more in the future, and look forward to announcing new tools soon,” Facebook wrote on its blog.

Facebook’s AV marketplace gives its users access to six-month trial runs for these 12 antivirus software downloads, after which the users must pay. The marketplace also provides users with educational materials on how to keep themselves, and their data, safe on Facebook.

“Effective security must be a cooperative effort; by adding these new partners to the Facebook Security family we are sure we can keep our community even better protected from threats both on Facebook and elsewhere on the web,” Facebook says.

Facebook's security efforts

On top of its antivirus marketplace, Facebook has taken other steps to protect its users.

In July it launched malware checkpoints, which offered two products for scanning against malware, McAfee's Scan and Repair and Microsoft's Security Essentials.

In August, Facebook announced a new e-mail address for users to report phishing attempts against Facebook.

"By providing Facebook with reports, we can investigate and request for browser blacklisting and site takedowns where appropriate. We will then work with our eCrime team to ensure we hold bad actors accountable. Additionally, in some cases, we'll be able to identify victims, and secure their accounts," Facebook wrote at the time.

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