Social networking website Facebook and web security company McAfee Inc. have announced a partnership to provide Internet security to Facebook users.
The announcement comes as Facebook struggles with its image regarding the security of its users’ information. The latest controversy occurred in December, when Facebook rolled out updates to its privacy settings. The update prompted Facebook’s 350 million users to review their privacy settings; any user who ignored the prompt automatically had their privacy settings set to ‘everyone’ mode, meaning all information could be accessed via a third-party web search.
Under the terms of this new partnership, McAfee is now Facebook’s exclusive security software provider, and Facebook users will have access to a free six-month subscription to the McAfee Internet Security Suite software. Following this six-month period, Facebook users will receive discount subscription pricing.
If a Facebook determines an account is compromised, an automated security process will be initiated, temporarily locking the user out of their account while the account is re-secured. Password changes will be prompted and the user will receive a free custom malware clean-up of their computer using McAfee technology.
“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,” said Elliot Schrage, vice president of global communications, marketing and public policy, Facebook. “Keeping the Internet secure requires that users, security vendors and Internet companies all work together. We think we’ve developed an excellent model for this collaboration, and to ensure the greatest possible value to our users, Facebook will not accept any revenue from subscriptions. We hope this is something that other services will emulate.”