London: Are you a Facebook user? Then there is a good chance that you have been exposed to malware at least once as you trolled through your friends’ news feeds.
The recent statistics released by security firm BitDefender has claimed that approximately 20 percent of all news feeds on Facebook users led to malicious content, reports the BBC.
The firm arrived at its figures after analysing data from 14,000 users who had installed its ‘Safego’ security app.
In a month since its launch, BitDefender also analyzed 17 million posts on the social network.
By clicking on infected links in a news feed, the users risk having viruses installed on their computer.
The majority of infections were associated with apps written by independent developers, which promised enticements and rewards to trick users into installing the malware, BitDefender said.
These apps would then either install malware used for spying on users or to send messages containing adverts to the users`` contacts.
Facebook has a thriving community of independent developers who have built apps for the social network.
The vast majority enable users to tweak their Facebook pages, adding widgets, games or extra functions, such as delivering daily horoscope predictions.
Facebook said it already had steps in place to identify and remove malware-containing links.
“Once we detect a phony message, we delete all instances of that message across the site,” the site said in a statement.
Crooks have targeted social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, because of their vast number of users, said Rik Ferguson, a security researcher for anti-virus maker ‘Trend Micro’.
“Because social networks are based on a community of people you trust, they``re an attractive target for malware writers,” he said.
“You``re more likely to click on a link from someone you trust,” Ferguson added.