Facebook now has over 955 Million users, according to a July report by Mashable. 30 million of these users are accessing Facebook through a mobile application. With such a large amount of users, it stands to reason that a huge amount of scams, spam, and viruses are also being spread around the service. A 2011, the Huffington Post article actually outlined the top nine Facebok scams that included:
• Fake polls
• Phishing Scams – Where scammers make a page that looks a lot like Facebook and tries to get you to sign in with your user name and passcode, then steals your information.
• Phony E-mails or Messages – This is a lot like the Phishing scam technique, but this one often comes directly to your E-mail inbox, making you think that the E-mail is from Facebook and asking you to take action. Once you do, the scammers take over your account.
• Fake Friend Requests
• Fake Apps – Watch out for applications. Fun games and other apps are often scams and spam in disguise.
Thus with the large amount of malicious activity that seems to follow Facebook around, it might also make sense that Facebook is very interested in Anti-Virus services. Facebook now has an Anti-Virus Marketplace that has recently been expanded to twelve Anti-Virus software providers including commonly known names like Norton and McAfee. These services contribute data back to Facebook to help blacklist bad URL’s through a system that scans the trillions of clicks that Facebook gets every day. So, what’s in it for the security providers? Security providers get exposure and deployment of their services through Facebook’s vast network of users. If the security provider only provides a limited six-month download of their Anti-Virus software, than the company might also get new paying customers.
The Facebook Anti-Virus Marketplace (AVM) actually launched back in April 2012 and to date has twelve Anti-Virus providers on board and 30 million visitors. All of the downloads from the AVM are free and have a licensing period. In addition to the Anti-Virus software offerings, Facebook also offers mobile security software in the AVM.
Along with offering security measures through the Facebook Anti-Virus Marketplace, Facebook also aims to educate users about cyber security. “As people increasingly use their mobile devices to share and communicate, it is important that we can empower people by providing them with the software to protect themselves and their devices,” states Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan.
Here is a link to the page to get more information about the Facebook Anti-Virus Marketplace.