Facebook is continuing to step up its efforts to keep its users safe, even when they're not on the site. Not so long ago, it introduced the Facebook Anti-Virus Marketplace, a place where users could discover free antivirus tools from some of the biggest names in the industry.
Now, it's expanding on the idea with a couple of new options, the ability to download and install either McAfee's Scan and Repair tool or the full Microsoft Security Essentials.
The idea is to get people to think about online security and take measures before they are infected. Of the two new options, the second is the best one since it installs a full antivirus suite on your computer, keeping you protected permanently. There are better, free alternatives to MSE, but it will do as well.
"Now, with our new self-enrollment malware checkpoint, you will be able to proactively obtain your choice of a free anti-virus product to scan and clean your system," Facebook explained
What sets apart this new initiative from previous efforts is that Facebook actively notifies users of these options even if they aren't infected. The idea is to spread awareness of the dangers and of the possible ways of avoiding it.
So far, Facebook has been warning users that it believed were infected with malware. But that only happened if that malware targeted Facebook, i.e. it led to spam messages coming from those users.
A big move in the right direction came with the launch of the antivirus marketplace which meant Facebook could offer users that were infected solutions rather than just notify them of the problem.
The latest step takes things even further by "advertising" security solutions to those that may need them. It remains to be seen how this works in practice, which users are notified and how. The choice of only two rather weak tools is questionable as well.