Facebook, Sophos engage to protect users against malware

Giant social networking site Facebook has partnered with Sophos, an IT security and data protection company, to protect its users from suspicious links that lead to malware or malicious sites.

Facebook has agreed to link to the website reputation service provided by SophosLabs, Sophos’ global network of research centres, to help assess the security status of the links clicked by the social networking site’s users.

According to Brett Myroff, CEO of Sophos distributor, NetXactics, Facebook has become the default forum for sharing and consuming opinions, news and personal content for millions of people.

“Since content is typically posted by a trusted source, many users often assume links are safe. Scammers often take advantage of this to fool users into clicking on malicious links,” Myroff said.

Facebook chief of security Joe Sullivan said they are pleased to begin partnering with Sophos to better protect users both on and off of the social networking site.

“We believe incorporating Sophos’ industry-leading computer security intelligence and expertise, will help us provide even more security to those using Facebook,” Sullivan added.

The partnership enables Facebook users to remain secure. Once users click a link, Facebook consults SophosLabs database to check the status of the links, a process that enables the IT security company to detect and avoid malicious URLs.

SophosLabs afterwards directly informs the Facebook whether the link clicked is malicious — as SophosLabs intends to feed malicious URL intelligence directly to Facebook users.

SophosLabs is a global network of highly skilled and thoroughly trained analysts renowned for protecting businesses from known and emerging threats, rapidly and immediately.The company’s expertise covers range of network security including viruses, spyware, adware, intrusion, spam and malicious web pages.

The free Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition is downloadable from the Sophos Facebook page or Facebook AV Marketplace. The solution is expected to protect more than 40 million Facebook users in Africa, and another 800 million across the world.

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