Facebook offers free security software — but wait! It’s not really free

By | April 27, 2012
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It’s all about the money. Facebook’s (supposed) 901 million users will be treated to “free” security software from Norton, McAfee, Trend Micro and Sophos but it’s not really free. If you are a Facebook user (and according to Facebook everyone is) you’re going to have access to some of the biggest names in the security software business — free.

But it’s not free. Norton and its ilk have taken a beating from the free (and better) antivirus programs but they’re not giving up. It’s all about the money – Facebook’s and the security companies’ – but it’s not all about you or keeping you safe.

The “free” versions that Facebook are offering are nothing more than the extended trial versions that computer manufacturers have been putting on computers for years. And 901 million Facebookers are now going to be inundated with advertising and sales pitches along with warnings about their online safety. Do you really think Facebook cares about your online safety? If they did they’d not be paying fines to the FTC for playing with your privacy. Nope. It’s all about the money.

Even if they were free — they’re not free because the software these security suites install on your computer is almost as bad as the malware they supposedly protect you from. Once installed, it’s hard to remove Norton, McAfee, Sophos or Trend Micro without doing it in Safe Mode and using a special uninstaller you can download from their respective sites (if you can muddle your way through their labyrinth of convoluted downloads). You computer resources will take a hit and so will your sanity.

But they’re not free — they’re six-month (extended) trial versions designed to entrap you in a never-ending cycle of annual payments. And all for what? Mediocre protection at best – that’s what.

Those of you who are using Facebook beware. You’re going to be besieged with warnings about your security and offered “free” security software that is not free at all. Don’t be fooled. Don’t be misled. The free antivirus/security software available is every bit as good as any of the brand names that Facebook is offering you “not-so-free”. Facebook isn’t doing you any favors — they’re raking in a ton of cash from those security companies – and that’s why they’re doing it — it’s all about the money.

Here’s more about this Facebook “offer” from PC World:

“Facebook on Wednesday teamed up with several leading antivirus firms to launch an Antivirus Marketplace, which will allow users to download a six-month free trial of the companies’ software.

The marketplace is currently offering products from McAfee, Norton, Microsoft, Sophos, and Trend Micro.

‘We believe that arming our users with anti-virus software will help empower them to stay safe no matter where they are on the web,’ Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook’s 901 million users can download free copies of McAfee Internet Security, Norton AntiVirus, Microsoft Security Essentials, Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition, and Trend Micro Security.

The security companies will also contribute posts to Facebook’s Security Blog with information about how to stay safe on the social network. “Truly effective security requires cooperation,” Facebook said.

In addition to the free downloads, Facebook will also expand its URL blacklist system to incorporate the malicious URL databases from McAfee, Norton, Microsoft, Sophos, and Trend Micro…”

You don’t need this — you don’t need to clutter up your computer our get drawn into an endless cycle of $50-per-year security-service subscriptions. You don’t need to install software on your computer that makes you jump through hoops to uninstall it.

Caveat Emptor — let the Facebook user beware.

4 thoughts on “Facebook offers free security software — but wait! It’s not really free

  1. Wendy

    Thank you for being up to date on all things and sharing it with us. You make computing so much easier.

  2. Harold

    Thank you for this information, as usual you are looking out for us, I for one always take your good advice.

  3. Karyn

    I for one will be listening to you. Facebook is a wonderful site BUT every thing on it is about the money. I am forwarding your email to my friends and I hope they do the same.
    Thanks for Caring


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