Posted January 21, 2010 7:54 am by with 2 comments

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The complaints pile up daily about the amount of spam and malware that proliferates the social media world. It even reaches the highest levels such as the recent takeover of the FCC chairman’s Facebook account that resulted in e-mails going out to all of his “friends”. While I know I shouldn’t, I have to laugh at that one. Maybe that’s part of the reason why the government is turning its attention to Facebook? Who knows but it sure be inspiration to look a little closer.

In an attempt to capitalize on this brave new world for spammers and hackers Websense is offering a new product called Defensio (how much time was spent on that name?). The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog reports:

Thursday tech-security company Websense will announce software called Defensio that allows Facebook users to better police the comments appearing on their wall and fan pages. In addition to detecting and blocking threats such as phishing and malicious Web sites, the software lets users restrict comments that include profanity or adult content.

Social media security software sounds like a nice new marketing term for the future, which will likely continue to get worse with regard to these concerns. While one would hope that services like Facebook and Twitter would be doing everything they can to police their own side of the street it may be up to third party developers to really do the trick. The sites themselves are more concerned about those darn investors and their silly requests for revenue.

Of course, the cat an mouse game of spammers and hackers and those who try to stop will always leave the protection lacking.

But Websense still has a ways to go to catch up to the rapidly evolving cons on social-networking sites. One scam that has been rampant lately involves compromising a user’s account and using Facebook’s live chat in an attempt to defraud the user’s friends. Dan Hubbard, Websense’s chief technology officer, said the beta version of the software does not include a chat scanner but that Websense is looking at that possibility.

Will your Facebook account ever be free of these threats? No. As long as people keep saying yes to every silly third party app that gets tossed in front of them to grow digital vegetables or take some asinine survey or profile to determine the course of their lives these things will happen. Based on that it looks like the social media security industry could be one of growth for quite some time.

Oh and if you want to take Defensio for a spin head over to their web site. The beta is free and is likely to remain that way for personal Facebook users but there are plans in the works to charge for business use. Sound familiar?