Facebook Offers Free Anti-Virus Scans
Think you might have a computer infection? Facebook's here to help.
Following up on April's rollout of the Facebook Anti-Virus Marketplace, which offered free anti-virus software, Facebook yesterday (July 10) debuted "Malware Checkpoint for Facebook," which will scan anyone's PC for any viruses, worms, Trojans or other malicious software.
Previously, Facebook had to detect malware on a user's computer before he could use the tool.
The tool isn't really very sophisticated, in that it simply installs either Microsoft Security Essentials or McAfee Scan and Repair, both free. (Mac users, according to CNET, get sent to an Apple security-update page.)
But Facebook's Malware Checkpoint does lock down your Facebook account while you download the anti-virus software and run a malware scan. After that's done, it unlocks your account.
"Previously, if you suspected you may have malware installed on your device, you would either need to run anti-virus on your device or wait until Facebook identified an actionable threat," wrote the unnamed writer of the Facebook Security blog posting.
"Now, with our new self-enrollment malware checkpoint, you will be able to proactively obtain your choice of a free anti-virus product to scan and clean your system."
Again, this isn't anything special, technically speaking. But considering that between 10 and 20 percent of PC users run no anti-virus software at all — and there's really no excuse for that, when there are good free options available — anything that makes it easier to install and run such software can only be a good thing.