Facebook has entered into a partnership with Finland-based online security and privacy company F-Secure to offers its users a browser-based malware scanner. As part of the partnership, the social networking site will use F-Secure's security software as a free service for its users.
"Helping people stay safe on Facebook is a hugely important part of what we do and we are 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.
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 also abuse Facebook users and their friends by posting malicious links or spam which appear to come from a legitimate user's account.
F-Secure's malware scanning and cleanup technology is fully integrated to the Facebook user experience, and if/when Facebook identifies an account behaving suspiciously, it will redirect the user to the cleanup process.
"We are pleased to partner with Facebook to stop cyber criminals from taking advantage of Facebook's user base for malicious ends," said Arto Saari, product manager at F-Secure.
How it works?
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. Note that users can choose to skip the malware removal process or download the recommended scanner, but they may be prompted again later.
Users who download and run the scanner can continue to use Facebook and other services during the scan. The scan and cleanup is executed directly in the browser window inside Facebook. When the scan is complete, the user will receive a notification through Facebook and will be able to review the results of the scan.