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Links on Facebook to be screened for viruses

Dangerous Link

Phishers and hackers have found that social media is a great place to plant links to malicious websites as unsuspecting people click through and get infected or give their information. Now, Facebook is changing that by checking every outbound link through a system designed by security firm Websense.

“Facebook is a big target for criminals online,” said Spencer Parker of Websense.

Sites like Google have taken reports and filtered links for a while, but Facebook is taking it a step further by sending a test “visitor” to every link posted to look for Trojans, phishing activity, botnets and viruses. Links that are deemed a threat will show a warning to users when they click on it before sending them to the site.

If effective, this will be a feather in the cap for Facebook which has been under scrutiny over security and privacy issues. It will also take one major tool out of the malware toolbox for those using the site to infect or steal from unsuspecting social networkers.

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