Yesterday (April 25th) Facebook announced the launch of Anti-Virus Marketplace. This Facebook page will allow users to download a six-month full version anti-virus software license from McAfee, Norton, Sophos for Macs and Trend Micro for PCs and Macs.
Microsoft is free anyway, which strikes me as rather odd, that this was included. Did Microsoft offer Facebook access to it’s vast Windows-based security knowledge base? I’m more convinced than ever that this is an ad campaign to drum up business in an AV consumer market that is in a state of flux right now. Also, why do I want to ‘like’ a chosen product? Even the product wording isn’t clear – which products are actually really free? I am a security guru, and wouldn’t download a security product from Facebook. I’d get the product from the vendors website. I like to make informed decisions. It feels to me like a little bit of deception i.e. promoting specific products (these are also not the only security products available on the Web). It’s your choice at the end of the day though.
Facebook is the real winner here along with its users. Why? The companies mentioned above have agreed to hand over URL blacklist databases to add to the URL blacklist the social network has currently. For example, a company like Trend Micro (3rd largest in the world) has 300m URLs and blocks 1.4 billion potential threats per day, so that it some database. Expect more AV vendors to join the ‘The AV Marketplace‘ in time.
One question still lags in my mind. Given this now vast database of malicious URLs that will protect Facebook users, why would users want to download an AV solution? I believe I know the answer to this.
Safe surfing folks!