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Innovation

How Sophos helps Facebook

Sophos helps Facebook by providing the social network with information on malicious and scam links that are spreading on the service, and the Internet as a whole. Facebook can then kill them.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor on

Facebook last week partnered with five companies (Microsoft, McAfee, TrendMicro, Sophos, and Symantec) to provide its users with access to full version antivirus software free for six months. The five firms also agreed to augment Facebook's URL blacklist system with their own URL blacklist databases. Last but not least, Facebook said these companies would be posting important security material to help Facebook users keep themselves, and their data, safe. We've already heard about McAfee, now it's time for the Sophos story.

Sophos' threat labs constantly collect and sort mountains of data on malicious and scam links. Sharing this info with Facebook means that the social networking giant can get a heads up on scams before they become a problem for a large number of users. This means if Facebook sees a dodgy link spreading on its service, the company can consult Sophos' database, and if it's found to be potentially malicious, it can start removing them.

Sophos also provided the following advice to Facebook users:

But users also have a role to play if they want Facebook to remain the most popular hang out in town.

Think about it this way: even the sexiest of cars provide many safety features like brakes, airbags and seatbelts, but if we fail to take advantage of them and drive like dingbats, they're useless.

To better safeguard your account, make sure you choose a strong unique password for your Facebook account, and don't tell it to ANYONE. Look over the privacy settings regularly and carefully choose your configuration. Take care when downloading applications. Only befriend people you know. Report suspicious activity to Facebook.

"Ultimately, both Facebook and Sophos want users safe and happy," a Sophos spokesperson said in a statement. "And this partnership might mean that we are in a better place to achieve that aim, but only if we all do our part."

You can get security tips and help from Sophos via its Facebook Page and its Naked Security blog. I've personally used the latter but not the former for both my Facebook and security coverage.

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