M86 Security has launched a free plug-in to allow users to safely access social media sites and search engine pages without concerns about malicious links.

Named M86 SecureBrowsing, it said that it is available for both PC and Mac users and does real-time scans of URLs and alerts users to potentially malicious web content embedded in search results links, malware-laced advertising and malicious links in social media pages of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

URLs are anonymously sent to cloud-based scanners based on M86's secure web gateway, which scans links using real-time code analysis. M86 SecureBrowsing then displays a security rating in the search results page, allowing the user to understand if the link is safe.

Werner Thalmeier, vice president of product management at M86 Security, said: “We recognise the growing malware threat to users of social networking sites. Individuals who use our M86 Secure Web Gateway are protected from these threats. M86 SecureBrowsing provides the same technology we use to block threats from enterprise customers to provide a simple warning system for any user.”