Home Facebook Partners with Security Startup, Protects Users From Scammer’s Links

Facebook Partners with Security Startup, Protects Users From Scammer’s Links

Facebook and Internet security startup Web of Trust have announced a partnership today that will protect users from clicking potentially malicious links from the social media platform. Web of Trust (WOT) is a company that determines whether or not a webpage is trustworthy based on feedback from a community of users.

The partnership will boost Facebook’s system, which already scanned links for spam or malware, by giving it access to WOT’s database of websites that its 20 million users have flagged as harmful. If a user clicks on a link that is deemed untrustworthy a warning will pop up notifying the user to avoid the link, learn more about or continue to the page.

Facebook has been working on features to protects its users from scams like “clickjacking” and XSS protection. Clickjacking is when scammers try to trick users into clicking something that might be cool or exciting, like an offer or pictures of nude celebrities, and laying a malicious link on top. Self-XSS protection is a browser weakness where spammers get people to copy code into their browser toolbars that will then take action on the users behalf, like posting untrustworthy links to their news feeds.

“Our community has worked hard for years uncovering scams and threats, reporting bad customer service, dubious privacy practices and protecting kids from unsavory sites. Our cooperation with Facebook validates all the effort WOT users put into sharing information,” said Vesa Perälä, CEO of WOT in a blog post.

Facebook scams and phishing attacks are a common occurrence and often see a spike associated with big news, such as the death of Osama bin Laden or the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Japan. Scammers take advantage of these news stories by raiding Google through search engine optimization and Facebook news feeds to try and get users to hand over personally identifiable information or cash. The WOT system should be able to help with this. The company offers extensions for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Opera that allows users to increase the WOT database by flagging from their bookmark bars if they have visited a malicious site.

Facebook announced a new security feature last month called Login Approvals that will also be going live. Login Approvals is an authentication system that recognizes the devices you use to login in to Facebook and if it does not recognize a device it will send you a text message with a security code to confirm.

The Facebook/WOT partnership goes live for all U.S. users today and will be available globally next week.

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