Facebook joins security firms to offer its users antivirus services

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Facebook introduced a free tool to help users detect and get rid of malicious software or malware. In collaboration with security companies like KasperskyLab, ESET, F-Secure and Trend Micro, the popular social network said it detected these malicious programs on the computers of two million people in the last three months.

The “Antivirus Marketplace” is designed in order for social network users to download one of these programs and protect their computers with a free, six month license. Among the available programs are Norton Anti-Virus 2012, Trend MicroTitanium Security Essentials (PC) and Smart Surfing (Mac), McAfee and others.

Antivirus Marketplace is the answer for users who are betting on the safety and, above all, privacy of data, an aspect in which Facebook, despite its 800 million users, has not managed. Facebook’s popularity has made the social network a target for cybercriminals and their users as they have been affected by too many phishing attacks.

Facebook monitors the user’s computer when connected and if it detects any suspicious activity (for example, someone tries to publish on your wall from a location that is not the usual, or allows browser extensions that are known as malicious to enter) it suggests downloading any of the digital cleaning tools offered by its  partners.

This past year the company has offered free tools from ESET, F-Secure, Trend Micro, and now Kaspersk; who created a special version of its antivirus tools and integrates them with Facebook adds. “For these people, we propose a cleaning tool that allows them to continue operation as it performs its task and informs when it ends and what it  found,” said Trevor Pottinger, Facebook engineer in charge of security.