Norton’s free Facebook scanning tool hits one million users

Helps keep social networkers safe from malware leading links
Kerry Butters

July 18, 2011

A free tool developed by security experts at Norton has exceeded one million users in its first year.

Norton Safe Web for Facebook is an online tool developed to protect against malicious software propagated throughout the social network site via links. The software scans all links in a user’s news feed and reports on the safety of the link.

Symantec, the makers of Norton, scan millions of websites every day, data which the scanning software utilises.

Users can immediately see which of the links appearing in their feed are dangerous to click on, and can view a more in-depth report on websites considered dangerous by visiting the Norton Safe Web site.

Jens Meggers, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Norton said of the application: “Norton Safe Web for Facebook is currently scanning an average of 3.5 million URLs daily – about 100 million every month, and we’re gaining about eight thousand new users every day.”

“We’ve maintained a high user rating by ensuring it is a quick and easy way to save users from spamming their friends or infecting their own computers with malicious applications.”

The Facebook application scans all links shared in your news feed within the past 24 hours and produces a report warning which are dangerous or need to be approached with caution.

Users can opt to scan their feed manually or allow the app to auto-scan all links and provide an hourly report.

“There is an inherent atmosphere of trust on social networking sites, where we’re all constantly sharing information and links with friends, family and coworkers,” said Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate.

“Cybercriminals have been quick to capitalize on this aspect by figuring out ways to inject fraudulent or malicious links into people’s newsfeeds so that they appear to be from a trusted source. Our free application makes it easy to prevent that one wrong click which could put you in the crosshairs of a cybercriminal.”

As identity fraud and malicious software are increasingly prevalent on the net, the software will be a welcome app to install for many users of the social networking site.

The application is provided free to all Facebook users and can be found here.


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