Facebook Wants to Keep You Virus-Free

Facebook may be a little lax when it comes to privacy, but it seems to be doubling down on security. The site is now directing users who think their computer might be infected with malware to sites where they can get free antivirus software.

The new Malware Checkpoint will send PC-users to sign up for either Microsoft Security Essentials or McAfee Scan and Repair, while those using macs will be sent to the Apple Security Updates site. It's actually the natural extension of an existing scheme, in which Facebook notifies users when the site detects a possible malware infection, then provides the user with free antivirus software to clean up the problem. A post on Facebook explains how the system works:

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...

1. The McAfee option will download a small program onto your Windows computer to perform a one-time scan of your system for malware. It will not interfere with your existing anti-virus or other security products. After it scans your system, it will give you the option to automatically or manually remove the files it flags as malicious.

2. The Microsoft Security Essentials option is a full anti-virus product. Upon download and install, it will add anti-virus software to your computer that will continue to protect your system with the latest anti-virus signatures from Microsoft.

All in, it's actually a pretty smart idea: any attempt to educate less security-savvy users in how to keep themselves protected online has to be something worth supporting. [CNET]

Image via AHMAD FAIZAL YAHYA/Shutterstock.com