Facebook offers free browser-based malware scanner
Posted on 21 May 2014.
People share via social media more than any other channel. But with social media exploits of personal and corporate accounts frequently making headlines, it’s time for new ways to protect consumers’ digital identities.

With F-Secure’s technology, Facebook will offer a browser-based malware scanner as a free service. The service will be available to Facebook users whose account has been temporarily frozen due to suspicious activity caused by a potential malware infection.

Malware or unwanted software on a computer or device can disrupt normal device performance, steal personal information, or gain access to a system. It can abuse Facebook users and their friends by posting malicious links or spam which appear to come from a legitimate user’s account.

“Helping people stay safe on Facebook is a hugely important part of what we do and we’re glad to be adding the strength of F-Secure’s anti-virus technology to our existing systems to block and eradicate malware,” said Chetan Gowda, software engineer at Facebook.

F-Secure’s malware scanning and cleanup technology is fully integrated to the Facebook user experience. When Facebook identifies an account behaving suspiciously, it will redirect the user to the cleanup process.

The scan and cleanup is executed directly in the browser window, inside Facebook. After cleanup is complete, the user can securely log into their Facebook account, safe from hackers and spyware.

Here’s how the process will work:
  • When a user is logging in from an infected device, they will see a notification screen about the malware infection along with a recommendation to use F-Secure’s scanner. The scanner is suited to the type of threat detected, so it’s recommended to run it even if the device already has an anti-virus program installed. The scanner is up-to-date and will remove itself once done running, so there is no need to worry about maintenance.
  • The user can choose to skip the malware removal process or download the recommended scanner. Users who skip the malware removal step may be prompted again later.
  • Users who download and run the scanner can continue to use Facebook and other services during the scan. When the scan is complete, the user will receive a notification through Facebook and will be able to review the results of the scan.





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