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McAfee's Facebook coup: An exclusive deal to provide security

So, here’s a pretty sweet new deal for security software developer McAfee: The company has inked an EXCLUSIVE deal, that’s right, EXCLUSIVE to become Facebook’s provider of consumer security software.

Through the pact, the two companies have developed what a custom scanning and repair tool that will be marketed to the social network’s roughly 350 million users. This tool will help identify malicious malware or spyware in your account and eradicate it. Facebook users will be eligible to receive a complimentary six-month subscription for the McAfee Internet Security Suite, which includes malware scanning, and SiteAdvisor rating technology that keeps tabs on naughty sites; after the comp period is up, Facebook users will get special discount pricing if they want to keep the software.

With McAfee’s help, Facebook has put together a new process that will kick in if your Facebook site is compromised: not only will you get software to help fix the problem, you’ll get “education” on how to prevent it in the future. (This made me think of the driver’s ed class you take when you get a moving violation to keep points off your license.)

Although the press release doesn’t imply that Facebook took these steps because social network malware is on the rise, the companies point out that approximately 78 percent of consumers don’t have an updated firewall, antivirus or antispyware product on their computer.

Here’s what Facebook VP Elliot Schrage of global communications, marketing and public policy has to say in the companies’ joint press release:

“By partnering with a market leader like McAfee, we are taking an unprecedented step towards making the entire Internet more secure and reducing the possibility of threats being brought onto our service by unsuspecting users. … Facebook will not accept any revenue from subscriptions. We hope this is something that other services will emulated.”

The first countries covered by this deal are the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Other countries will be added this quarter.

Here’s a link to the full contents of the press release. In theory, this is another link you can consult for information, but when I tried it, I couldn’t connect. (Probably because of the flood of publicity this morning.)

 

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