How Serious is Facebook Inc. (FB) About Combating Phishing?

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has gotten a lot of attention over the last year or so with its various formatting changes on user pages, but one particular change – transforming everyone’s public e-mail address to [user name] – has led to some safety, privacy and security concerns among users. And Facebook so far, is trying to turn to its concerned users to help the company combat spam and phishing attacks. But how serious is Facebook about this issue?

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Well, there is some question. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) does claim that phishing is a very serious threat, and it has fielded complaints about these types of messages to users in the past. The company has now established a specific e-mail account for users to file compliants about receiving these annoying messages and e-mails.

According to a blog post, “By providing Facebook with reports, we can investigate and request for browser blacklisting and site takedowns where appropriate. We will then work with our eCrime team to ensure we hold bad actors accountable. Additionally, in some cases, we’ll be able to identify victims, and secure their accounts.”

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) also gave out some tips about what to look for to determine that a message is a phishing attempt. While having a place to report such things is honorable and necessary, one observer is not so sure it’s enough – while the e-mail address ( is available, to see that or any security precautions are buried in the privacy notes for the site, which is not a regular place for users to visit.

Eileen Brown writes, “Facebook should place an alert at the top of the home page drawing user’s attention to the importance being vigilant and careful. Hiding this page away does not show the duty of care that Facebook should show to its users — especially if it wants to avoid the potential consequences of a password or account breach. It is only a matter of time before someone tries it. “

But maybe this isn’t a big deal for some people, as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who is a member of the Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) board of directors, bought nearly 48,000 shares of Facebook stock this week at $21.03 a share, a $1 million transaction.