Facebook teams up with Sophos and other security vendors

Filed Under: Facebook, Featured, Malware, Privacy, Rogue applications, Social networks, Spam

Facebook and SophosFacebook and security. Is it a marriage that has any legs?

The social networking giant today announced its partnership with a number of security vendors, including Sophos.

A Facebook blogger writes:

Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people who use Facebook, and the security of their data...That’s why we’re thrilled to announce the Antivirus Marketplace and welcome Microsoft, McAfee, TrendMicro, Sophos, and Symantec to the Facebook Security family.

Facebook and Sophos

No matter how in love we are with Facebook, many of us would have kicked it to the curb if the bad outweighed the good, and some baddies started to dent Facebook's armour.

So Facebook came up with a great way to tackle the problem of widespread threats: jump between the sheets with the experts in the security industry.

Now Facebook and security aren't easy bedfellows. Facebook constantly needs to offer new bells and whistles to stay fresh and competitive. Its natural aim is increased sharing and connectivity.

Security specialists like Sophos offer protection, and they often do that by closing doors to anything potentially harmful. The security industry is essentially made up of internet sentinels keeping watch all the time and jumping out to protect their charges when something nasty rears up.

But they do say opposites attract...

So when Facebook came knocking, Sophos opened its doors wide. And smiled. Teamed up, they are much better able to catch and annihilate scams before they impact huge numbers of users.

This is how it works: Sophos's threat labs constantly collect and sort mountains of data on malicious and scammy links. Sharing this info with Facebook means that the social platform can get a heads up on scams before they become a problem for large numbers of users.

So, if Facebook gets wind of something dodgy spreading on its platform, they consult our vast database. And if it's found to be potentially malicious, they will alert the user.

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.

And the Naked Security team will continue to do its part, alerting its community -- via its Facebook page and its award-winning security news site -- to bad stuff that sneaks up on Facebook.

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

As an added bonus, Sophos is giving away its Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac: Home Edition – no strings attached. In fact, there are a number of free security tools you can check out.

So, here's to a fruitful relationship between Sophos and Facebook.

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19 Responses to Facebook teams up with Sophos and other security vendors

  1. R0nin · 1226 days ago

    So Sophos finally took the bribe and got in bed with FaceBook. I guess everyone does have their price.

    NakedSecurity has been a great source of info for me, largely because Sophos hadn't prostituted themselves to FaceBook like almost everyone else had. How can we trust you from this point forward?

    • We don't have any plans to stop reporting about Facebook security and privacy issues.

      • Nan · 1226 days ago

        How do I get another download for the protection. I couldn't finish download b/c they told me to uninstall what I had. When I went back to download protection it wouldn't let me. Said I already had my free download. :(

    • Yeesh, what a Debbie Downer.

    • This is actually a valid point. I think the easiest way to see if you can trust NakedSecurity going forward is to see if the partnership results in the content of this blog changing.

      If you suddenly see Graham posting about how Facebook has saved his life, and Chet starts blogging about how everyone should sign up with Facebook because it's the best social media site ever, then you'll know something's up (and likely post about it in the comments). If you see articles about the latest Facebook scams and security issues, and pleas for people to take security seriously, then you'll know it's business as usual.

    • Was a believer. · 31 days ago

      "Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people who use Facebook"

      One of the biggest lies ever told on the internet. Tell us FB why are you sending out links to malware with your "survey form " and why no answer when it is reported to you?

      Why do you allow a known scammer to have SIX accounts and to post the personal details on FB of his victims while he is impersonating them with fake accounts.

      FB safety? WHAT A JOKE!

    • Alan James · 30 days ago

      Hi Further to my last comment here is a few of the links sent by Facebook that link to malware, I have more. FB did not have the decency to answer when I supplied this list to them .Thanks.

      Please note that the links below are viral and have been flagged by
      Scumware " as containing bad malware.

      These are just a few of the viral links that Facebook are sending out
      and ALL of them have an IP that is connected directly to Facebook.

      It seems that Facebook are not to be trusted based upon these facts.

      These malware links are all using the IP of Facebook.

      [Links removed by moderator]

      • I have removed the list of links from your post. We don't normally allow links at all, unless we think they add a lot to the comment and we trust the site they link to, and we certainly aren't going to post a list of malicious links.

        The links you supplied use the fb.me URL shortener to redirect to 3rd party sites. The first is a blog blogspot.com, the second a site I've never heard of. Presumably they're compromised sites serving up drive-by malware.

        • Alan James. · 30 days ago

          I understand that as the comments are moderated that the links would be removed thank you. I included them so you could see them.

          The IP's go back to FB . Some of the malware links sent to me were from FB in response to my abuse reports, so unless FB had been hacked I assume they came from FB itself, this was somewhat reinforced by FB not replying to my questions about the bad links.

          If FB was doing the right thing then it would be logical to expect them to answer and possibly request more information to secure their site.

          What annoys people is their insistence that the safety of the people who use FB is of the utmost importance to them when the opposite is mostly demonstrated.

          Copies of the links were sent to various organizations as well as to the attorney generals office and I was informed that facebook would be notified, so again there is no valid reason that FB would hide and not answer IF they were not responsible for the links.

          The unbelievable number of security breaches by FB including the loss of millions of passwords etc shows clearly that they are not to be trusted.

          Then if any one queries them about their account there, FB tends to do nothing unless the customer has forwarded to them copies of their personal details. How can anyone have any sort of confidence and trust FB with personal details when they act in this unsafe manner?

          Thank you for allowing these comments to be posted. It causes me concern to see a good organization like Sophos align them selves with a very questionable group like facebook.

          There are so many complaints from decent people about the acts of FB that it could be an idea to check them out further.

          You have my email so please feel free to ask for more information. Thank you.

  2. Alex W · 1226 days ago

    Hilarious headline guys! "... and other security vendors" :) Yeah, just a couple little guys, not worth mentioning in the headline :)

  3. Willy · 1226 days ago

    Surely Norton, McAfee and Trend all offer a free trial already, this is just a bigger carrot and surely Facebook get commission if there's a sale. No harm in that but this isn't really anything so great, there's decent free AVs out there without this. Sorry, not impressed.

    • Jason · 1225 days ago

      Except you didn't read the article or you'd understand more than what you gleaned from the stock photo in the article. You missed the point entirely.

    • boondox · 1225 days ago

      Sophos' software offer isn't a free *trial*. Its free *period*, and they've advertised on this blog before.

      That's how I found out about it and I've been using it at home for a good while now.

      How much commission do you make on something that's free?

  4. I love that word "Nothing more important than safety" hope facebook team can do the best...

  5. Lety · 1225 days ago

    Congrats, Sophos! Keep up the good work! I've been using Sophos for Mac since it was released, and it has made several useful warnings and clean ups. Go, guys!

  6. Pat · 1225 days ago

    I don't use a Mac, but this is super great news.

  7. Nigel · 1224 days ago

    Fooey on the cynics who think Sophos has sold out to Facebook. I don't believe it. If anything, this gives me some hope that Facebook will actually pay closer attention to what Sophos has been pleading with them to do all along...namely, implement a 100% opt-in policy for ALL of Facebook's features.

    People are always bad-mouthing the profit motive, but companies who really understand it know that in the long run it's the only motivation that really works. You can't make a profit for very long by consistently screwing people. You have to give them something that they --- in their own subjective evaluation --- think is worth what they're paying for it. If you don't, eventually you won't have any customers. REAL profit is mutually beneficial.

    There are lots of companies that are sufficiently enlightened to understand that the true nature of profit is mutual benefit. In my view, Sophos is one of them. Here's hoping that some of that enlightened perspective rubs off on Facebook. They could sure use some of it.

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About the author

Hi. I am a social, brand and communications expert with 10 years in senior roles in the tech space. I'm currently Sophos' s Global Director of Social Media and Communities. Proudest work achievement? Creating and launching award-winning Naked Security. Outside work, I am a mean cook, an avid reader, a chronic insomniac, a podcast obsessive and blogger .