We would like to continue our Security for Everyone series with a few episodes on security apps for Facebook. We all use this social network and while doing it we expose ourselves to security problems. For example, we may set our account wrongly and too much of our data becomes public or we click on every link shared by our friends and, unwillingly access infected websites and so on. In this episode, we will talk about Bitdefender Safego - one of the first security apps for Facebook. Let's see how it works, what it does and whether it is a good Facebook app to install on your account.
What is a Facebook App?
Apps are an integral part of the Facebook experience for many users. They bring opportunities for greater social interaction, entertaining distraction and unfortunately may also broaden your threat landscape as well. Apps are available in numerous categories and more are being written all the time. To browse all the available apps, go to the Facebook App Center.
While you may not choose to use apps in abundance, your friends might, and depending on their privacy settings, these applications' posts could appear in your Facebook feed as well. As a result, this introduces the issue of leaving you vulnerable to the threats posed by your friends' apps. Caution needs to be the rule of the day. Thankfully, BitDefender has made available in Safego an application that helps the Facebook user experience some of the safeguards that can be found in desktop security solutions.
How to Install & Enable Bitdefender Safego
First go to the Bitdefender Safego app page and click Install App. Before you do that, it is best that you read the description and learn what the app will do.
Then, you are asked to give your OK for allowing Bitdefender Safego to access your data.
Last but not least, you may or may not give it the permission to post to your friends on your behalf. This only happens if Bitdefender Safego detects that your friends have posted malicious links and content, so that they are warned of this problem. Allowing Bitdefender Safego to post on your behalf means doing them a favor and informing them when security problems are detected. Their accounts might be hacked and they may not be aware of it.
Now that you have given your final confirmation, you are taken to the Bitdefender Safego dashboard.
Here's what you can do with it:
What Does BitDefender Safego Do?
Once Safego is enabled, you are protected 24/7. The posts and comments that are added to your wall and news feed are scanned heuristically in the cloud, using BitDefender's antimalware and antiphishing engines. If a threat is detected, typically in the form of spam or related to phishing/malware, Safego will post a warning comment that will be visible to anyone who can see your wall posts or news feed (if you allowed it to post on your behalf). Safego can also post a weekly status update to your wall which serves as another nice reminder the application is doing its job.
Once the application is enabled, you may access the Safego dashboard by visiting the app page. The dashboard gives you an opportunity to force a scan of your wall and news feed, by clicking Refresh. The scan is completed quickly and updated information is displayed in the stats section.
The dashboard gives you a peek into the latest items scanned which I consider a way to keep the app honest. At the very least, this can be used as an indicator that Safego is staying current with the activity in your Facebook wall and news feed. You will also be shown the latest infected items that were detected by Safego.
You can also view how many of your friends are using the same app and you can invite them to use the app. Then, there is a button to start a PC scan with BitDefender QuickScan, so that you can evaluate the security of your PC. On the bottom left side of the Safego dashboard, there is a section named Privacy. There, Safego will tell you if your account settings are good enough so that your data is as private as possible.
If you are not very familiar with Facebook's privacy settings, listening to what BitDefender Safego has to say will improve the privacy of your data a lot. Last but not least, you've also got a button for quick access to the BitDefender Safego app page. Unfortunately, clicking on it doesn't work. You have to manually browse to "https://www.facebook.com/bitdefender.safego".
There you'll find some frequently asked questions, application information and a very active Safego team, responding to questions and looking into issues with false positives and the like.
Bitdefender Safego is one of the first security products for Facebook and one of the best. In my many months of using it, I appreciated the app's discretion a lot. You hear from it only if threats are detected or if you enabled it to post a weekly summary. I highly recommend it, especially to heavy Facebook users. It will do a great job in keeping your social networking experience safe from spam and malware.