Facebook Profile Protector Guards The Social Network

happygeek 2 Tallied Votes 689 Views Share
Barracuda Networks
Free, scans quickly, identifies malicious content
Requires lots of access to your Facebook account, not needed if you don't install dodgy apps or click dodgy links
So you've got a Facebook account, but how safe is it? With spammers and bad guys turning to The Social Network as a means to their malicious ends, can you really afford not to protect your profile? Especially when it costs nothing...

Last year saw the overall volume of email delivered spam drop for the first, which has to be good news. Or it would be were it not for the fact that spammers have not gone away, they have merely moved with the times and adapted their business so as to exploit the best marketing opportunities for their unsolicited and unwanted, erm, marketing opportunities. Because spam filtering at both the client and server ends of the market has improved to the point where, for many people at least, emailed spam has become all but invisible the bad guys are turning to social spamming.

Those of us involved in the day to day management of forums such as DaniWeb are all too well aware of the amount of spam that heads this way in the form of bogus forum postings for example, and social networks have not escaped the spam flood either. Indeed, it is the social networks that have become the target of choice for the spammer it would seem. Whereas forum spam tends to consist mainly of straightforward advertising of the 'cheap iPhone here' accompanied by a link (or twenty) variety, social network spam, more often than not, carries some kind of malicious payload.

Marek Polesensky, a malware researcher with security vendor ESET, recently identified a whole host of worms attacking Facebook users. These included the likes of the Yimfoca worm which targeted Facebook and Fbphotofake which took the more traditional spammed wall postings route to infection. None of which should come as any surprise when you discover that a toolkit to create Facebook malware can be purchased through the online crime black market for as little as $25.

To help combat the social network spam and malware threat, Barracuda Networks has produced the ' Profile Protector ' which is initially available for any user of Facebook, and will soon add Twitter to the networks it helps protect from the bad guys. Profile Protector is completely free of charge, which is handy, and is up and running in an instant as there is no local installation to worry about and nothing by way of complex configuration either. You will need to connect it to your Facebook account, which means allowing it access to various things that, at first glance, may appear a tad concerning.

After all, when you are looking for a service that claims to protect you from those who would invade your privacy and use your Facebook account for marketing purposes it is a little off-putting to be asked to hand over access to your list of friends, your friend requests, all the information you've ever shared with everyone and that includes access to your photos and videos and so on. But, as with most security solutions, it is a matter of trust. Or more to the point, a matter of who do you trust? Long established security vendors are much higher up on my trust curve than most, although I do admit to being just a little concerned that Profile Protector wanted me to give it permission to post status messages, notes, photos and videos on my Facebook wall. So concerned that I contacted the Barracuda Networks press office before completing the installation of Profile Protector to ask why, exactly, it needed that?

A Barracuda spokesperson explained that at the moment "Profile Protector does not post to a user's wall" however, at some point in the future "the user will be provided with the option of posting their scan results with their permission". The key point here being those last three words, and as long as I have to opt in for scan results (which, to be honest, is just another way of saying product promotion) to be posted to my wall rather than opt out, I'm happy enough. So I clicked and connected, after which not a great deal happened, no fireworks going off, no bells and whistles, just a very quick scan of any links posted to my wall and elsewhere, followed by an all clear message.

That's the beauty of Profile Protector, it acts like an antivirus scanner for your Facebook account. It analyses the user-generated content posted to your Facebook profile and can then block or remove anything that is determined to be suspicious content such as malicious links or embedded photos for example. Of course, if you are sufficiently security savvy (and most of the time that means being in possession of an average amount of common sense) and do not install every Facebook App going, accept every 'friend' invitation made and click on every link you see, then you probably don't need Profile Protector. Unfortunately, experience suggests that far too many are not sufficiently savvy, and while this solution is not unique by any means, it is free and unobtrusive.

Ultimately, anything that helps keep the bad guys at bay has to be a good thing...

charlenej 3 Junior Poster in Training

With all the viruses and worms that exist in Facebook, an application to protect the user's profile is really a must to prevent these viruses from harming our computer. I tried this application on my personal account and I realized that it's not difficult to use. But this type of app could be more effective if they can make it function like an anti-virus software that promptly informs users not to click the suspicious link.

jeffkear 0 Newbie Poster

I am not if this application is going to work for all users...I tried it, somehow, I did not observe any kind of changes...

NatdL 0 Newbie Poster

Well, considering that Facebook is one form of a social media marketing tool then all users are basically open to such threats. You have to be conscious about that fact...I hope Facebook developers could assure this app's sustainability.

sania85 0 Newbie Poster

If this work... its really wonderful software... but don't know it secure for everyone..??

Ken Peterson -12 Junior Poster in Training Banned

Facebook is a good social networking/Media site. most of people use that site for Internet Marketing Promotion.If this software work properly then its good news.

Good Work !

Riderwear45 0 Newbie Poster

Well, given that Facebook is a form of social media marketing tool, so all users are in principle to such threats. You should be aware of the fact that ... We hope that the developers can not guarantee the sustainability of this application.

jkthomas 0 Newbie Poster

this application may be very useful and popular.

Riderwear45 0 Newbie Poster

Facebook is a good social network or media site. Most people use this site for internet marketing Promotion.If work correctly when the software is good news.

Good work!

spectranet 0 Newbie Poster

I think this application is workable.

biggig -2 Newbie Poster

i think its must have for everybody...tinnggggg!!!

justlook 0 Newbie Poster

hi this is really very nice information i like it thanks this information.

WebOutGateway 0 Newbie Poster

I think I want to try it on my Facebook account

Ken Peterson -12 Junior Poster in Training Banned

Thanks man good information but i checked it. Its really nice man. Thanks again..

Speedo12 0 Light Poster

It can be useful for those who accept all kind of links and application. I don't take them all and until now i had no problem. Furthermore is an interesting app for newbies.

graphixter 0 Newbie Poster

Its a good news for Facebook users.

Saranya2011 -12 Newbie Poster

Yeah.. Everyone knows about this.. Through this we have to improve traffic in our website.. Thanks..

dollyclay 0 Newbie Poster

I think this application may be very useful..

vplanetcommerce 0 Newbie Poster

I think Facebook Profile Protector Guards The Social Network. Last year saw the overall volume of email delivered spam drop

denysaputra -3 Light Poster

Look excellent software. Recommended for used :)

netvani -3 Junior Poster in Training

I experienced such spam messages coming directly from my friends. Those instant messages appeared from my chat box annoyed me a lot. It was very disturbing and those spam links that my friends have been clicked should be vanished. At least with this kind of anti-spam tool will surely help Facebook to destroy or become more careful with the spams.

webdesigns12 0 Light Poster

I think this will be very useful to protect our data and our Pc as well. This will be very useful. I would like to use it.

ngphuc2k 0 Newbie Poster

Thanks for share.

ttfpi01 0 Newbie Poster

I love FB, but I hate Twitter :)

hnsh56 0 Newbie Poster

This application is going to work but as always there will be spammers and spams! I hope that it serves it purpose.

1paket.com 0 Light Poster

Facebook is the most popular and widely used, I'd recommend to use it.

booster1 -3 Newbie Poster

well it;s work but not know it's secure or not what you people say about it

edegreeusa 0 Newbie Poster


Is this application working? I don't think so.

deepakvermaseo -9 Newbie Poster Banned

I appreciate ,you suggest me social network and I read your full story its very helpful for me .

data-struction 0 Light Poster

Wow, thanks for sharing. I had never heard of Barracuda until this article. In fact, my old PC previously suffered an ugly virus as a result of Facebook spam. Is it truly reliable? Thanks, again!

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, networking, learning, and sharing knowledge.