Facebook Adds Security Features, Teams Up With Web Of Trust

Facebook has launched new security features that will help to protect users from malware and to stop their accounts from being hijacked.

First, the social network has put measures in place to help protect users from clickjacking. This is a process by which users are tricked into clicking on links they would not normally wish to click on. Scammers force users to click on such links by placing another object over the link, such as the promise of a fake offer (or anything else that would entice a user to click on a link).

To try to prevent this, Facebook has put measures in place to detect clickjacking of the Like button and to block links to websites that are known for clickjacking. When Facebook determines a link as being suspicious, it will ask you to confirm your Like before publishing the Like to your profile and your friends’ News Feeds.

Facebook has also taken steps to combat a weakness in Web browsers that spammers take advantage of. The weakness causes the browser to automatically carry out Facebook actions when users copy and paste lines of code into the address bar. These actions include posting status updates with spam links and sending spam messages to Facebook friends.

Facebook has put new measures in places to combat this. When it suspects that these cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks are taking place, it will ask the user if they meant to carry out this action before sharing content on their Facebook profile. It has also been working with the companies that are behind major Web browsers to fix this issue.

Also among the new security features is a two-step authentication process called Login Approvals that is now available to all users. Should you choose to use this feature, whenever you log in to Facebook from a new or unrecognized device, Facebook will require you to enter a code that it will send to your mobile phone via SMS.

If Facebook discovers a login attempt from a new device or one that it doesn’t recognize, you will be notified on your next login and asked to verify the login attempt. This will allow you to change your Facebook password in the knowledge that, while someone else may have tried to access your account, they were unable to do so.

Lastly, the social network has teamed up with Web of Trust, a free safe Web browsing tool that tells you which sits you should be able to trust based on ratings supplied by community members. Through this partnership, Facebook aims to protect you from clicking on links posted by your friends that might lead to spam or malware.

When you click on these links, a warning will pop up that gives information on why that website might be dangerous. It is then up to you whether you wish to proceed. Facebook already has a list of potentially dangerous websites, and it will use the Web of Trust partnership to strengthen this database with links to millions of websites that are classed as untrustworthy, fraudulent or responsible for other questionable behavior. You can help to protect other Facebook users by joining the Web of Trust community and providing your own ratings on websites.

Facebook is rife with scams and any action that the social network takes to protect users has to be applauded. It is only a pity that it cannot seem to stamp out its own questionable behavior too.

[Image Credit: flickrwka]

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