Social media can be a useful tool for businesses, bringing substantial benefits to marketing and communications with customers and employees, when used properly. But as any IT security department knows, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pose a significant threat to users across the board as they blindly click links which often lead to spam, clickjacking attacks, or other malicious sites that could result in malware infection.
In a move to further protect users of the world’s largest social networking site, Facebook is partnering with content security vendor Websense to help protect users from links that lead to malware and malicious sites.
Starting today, when a Facebook user clicks on a link it will be checked against the Websense database in an attempt to determine if the link is malicious. If the link is determined to be risky, the user will be given the choice to continue at their own risk, return to the previous screen, or get more information on why it was flagged as suspicious.
In a 2010 report from Panda Security, one third of small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) experienced a malware or virus infection via social networks in the first half of 2010, and 23 percent actually lost sensitive data via these networks, according to Panda Security’s Social Media Risk Index.
“Facebook cares deeply about protecting users from potentially malicious content on the internet,” said Dan Rubinstein, Facebook product manager for Site Integrity. “We are excited about our partnership with Websense to provide industry leading tools to help our users protect themselves.”