Facebook enters partnership with free McAfee deal

Every one of Facebook’s 350 million users are to receive free virus protection for six months, after the social networking website signed an unprecedented global deal with the computer security firm McAfee.

The offer, which will see McAfee distributing more than £7.5bn worth of free software, is available from today to Facebook users in the UK, United States, Australia, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, with further countries set to be added over the next three months.

The move follows a rise in reports of malicious software, or malware, targeting Facebook users. The viruses, which are specifically designed to spread rapidly across the network, hijack people’s computers and send out messages to all their friends encouraging them to visit websites, where they are in turn attacked.

According to recent research, almost half of internet users do not have adequate virus protection, and 78 per cent do not regularly update the anti-virus and anti-spyware programmes they have bought. Those without protection pose a danger to those with whom they interact online, and the agreement between McAfee and Facebook is designed to tackle this problem.

“We are taking an unprecedented step towards making the entire internet more secure and reducing the possibility of threats being brought on to our service by unsuspecting users,” said Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice-president of global communications, marketing and public policy. “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.”

Under the terms of the agreement, McAfee will become Facebook’s exclusive provider of virus protection software for a year. Users are entitled to a free six-month trial of the firm’s Internet Security Suite software worth £22.50. If all of the site’s users take advantage of the offer, McAfee will effectively be giving away more than £7.5bn worth of software.

The package includes a scanning and repair tool to allow users to clean their PCs following a virus attack, as well as the basic McAfee security software. After six months, they will be able to buy a full subscription at a discounted rate. The two companies are also working together to educate people about viruses, updating a Facebook page with tips on how to stay safe online and telling them how to spot suspicious messages.

“We have seen an absolutely huge rise in malware worldwide over the past 12 months, probably more than the previous five years combined,” David DeWalt, chief executive of McAfee, told The New York Times. “We are seeing a lot more malware specifically designed and targeted at large social networking applications. These are just the trends in the industry.”

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Network Support Engineer - Hosted Telecommunications

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for a Ne...

    Recruitment Genius: Frontend Developer / Designer

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working on a range ...

    Ashdown Group: Software Developer - C#, .Net, SQL - Cambridgeshire

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful and g...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Application Developer / Software Developer

    £21000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software development compa...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower