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The Facebook Malware Scanner is Holding Users Hostage

Facebook has a plan to keep your account secure from malware, unfortunately, the idea has led to some problems for dedicated social media users.

The fight against malware is a long journey with no sight in end, but companies are trying their best to keep users safe from lurking dangers. Facebook is one such company that has been implementing a plan that requires users to scan their computers with anti-malware software before logging onto the site. The problem is that unsuspecting users with clean machines have received the notifications. Some have even been completely locked out of their accounts, which begs the question – Mr. Zuckerberg, what’s going on?

An Anti-Malware Attempt Gone Wrong
Unfortunately, part of the ongoing issue is that Facebook has been incredibly opaque on why you might be required to scan your device. The social networking giant has acknowledged that the company doesn’t collect enough information to know for sure whether your machine is infected. It’s possible that the company is using a network to watch how malware spreads, but other than speculation we don’t know the hard truth.

Read More: What Information Does Facebook Collect About Its Users?

Another potential issue is millions of people could lose access to their accounts. Some individuals came forward with complaints, citing the fact that they own a Mac and can’t download the Windows executable file required for the scan. Without any ability to run the scan, a user is locked out of their account indefinitely.

Possible workarounds have been discovered, including switching web browsers, but there are no concrete answers on why Facebook opts to remain silent on the issue. Attempting to lead the fight against malicious malware is a noble effort, but if you find yourself faced with being locked out of your account – a different strategy might be in order.

Other Options to Stay Safe
If you can’t rely on Facebook’s anti-malware solution to keep you safe, what other options are out there? A strongly recommended action to take is downloading an antivirus app to your smartphone such as dfndr security to keep your device safe by performing scheduled in-depth security scans. Best of all, the app offers an anti-hacking feature that can detect malicious links within applications like Facebook Messenger and your web browser.

While no one is entirely sure why Facebook has been so quiet on this issue, it remains clear that the best way to keep your devices protected when using social media is to always have a third-party app installed. The company did note that they ‘had helped clean up more than two million people’s computers,” but for any further information on their malware scan feature, we’ll just have to stay tuned.