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New Malware Checkpoints Launched by Facebook

Facebook logoFacebook launched a new feature on Tuesday that allows users to lock down their Facebook accounts and perform malware scans if they suspect that their computers might be infected. The popular social networking site already uses internal scanners to detect spam and malicious messages that might have been sent from user accounts controlled by malware, but this is just an extra added measure. However, if you’re someone who has companies like Marketing Heaven attached to Facebook for business purposes, then your following wouldn’t be affected.

When Facebook finds these accounts they are temporarily locked down, their owners are notified and asked to go through a multi-step account recovery process. The process involves downloading and running a malware scanner known as McAfee Scan and Repair.

These new malware checkpoints will allow users who believe they have been hacked and infected with malware to initiate the account lockdown procedure themselves and perform an antivirus scan for free. In addition to that, users will be able to choose to scan their computers with McAfee Scan and Repair, a run-once anti-malware scanner, or with Microsoft Security Essentials, a full-featured antivirus protection software that needs to be downloaded and installed.

According to Facebook’s Security Team in a recent blog post, “If you are concerned that your device may have been infected by malware, you can visit http://on.fb.me/infectedMSE or http://on.fb.me/infectedMcA to be self-enrolled in either our Microsoft Security Essentials or McAfee Scan and Repair malware checkpoints.”

If you decide to go with the McAfee Scan and Repair checkpoint, you won’t be able to unlock your account until the malware scan is complete. Progress for the scan is displayed on Facebook’s website, so you can still keep track. If you decide to go with the Microsoft Security Essentials option, you must manually certify that they downloaded, installed and performed a scan with the antivirus program by checking a box on the website.

If you are a Mac user then don’t fret because Facebook has a solution for you as well. Mac OS X users will be presented with a link to a page on Apple’s support website from which they can download security updates and malware removal tools released by Apple.

Mac users can also separately download the free Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition from the AV Marketplace that Facebook launched back in April. “We hope that by making our technology available to more users, on demand, will help all the people who use our service to keep their data and devices secure,” the Facebook Security Team added.

Source: PC World – Facebook Launches Malware Checkpoints for Users with Infected Computers

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