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Social networks such as Facebook have always been vulnerable to malicious hackers who share viral links that lead users to malware and malicious sites. That’s why Facebook is teaming up with Websense to protect users by preventing them from clicking on links without knowing the trustworthiness of the destination.

The alliance shows that Facebook — which now has more than 800 million users — can’t do everything itself when it comes to protecting the privacy of its users.

San Diego, Calif.-based Websense will add to Facebook’s existing protections by checking the links users click on. Websense will compare the link to its database of malicious sites. If it finds the link is malicious, the user will see a page that offers the choice to continue at their own risk, return to the previous screen, or get more information on why the site was flagged as suspicious.

Facebook has its own security systems, but Websense has been analyzing and classifying the internet for more than 15 years using its patented technology. Websense’s advanced classifying engine (ACE), which will be used with Facebook, is already part of Websense’s Triton malware protection products.


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We have been working with Facebook and their security teams for a number of years in order to better protect their users, and now we have integrated directly into the platform for an [unprecedented] security combination,” said Dan Hubbard, chief technology officer. “By doing so, Websense is helping Facebook continue their proactive fight to keep malicious links off of their platform and allow safe use for all of its members.”

Publicly traded Websense was founded in 1994 and has 1,400 employees. Rivals included McAfee, Symantec and Cisco. In the second quarter, Triton’s billings were $44.4 million, up 47 percent from a  year before.

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