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