The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Internet Security Task Force is calling for voluntary codes of conduct to strengthen the cybersecurity of companies — across all industries and sectors — that rely on the Internet to conduct business, including social networking sites such as Facebook.

The proposals could have big implications for Facebook.

Global online transactions are currently estimated by industry analysts at $10 trillion annually while the threat of cybersecurity attacks grow. Last year alone there were 55,000 estimated malware attacks and viruses circulating the web.

With Facebook offering more commerce-related tools and applications almost daily, and shopping on the networking site expected to rise sixfold by 2015, making the social network a safe place to conduct business is critical. The proposals from the Commerce Department could do just that.

If Facebook steps up to take a leadership role in employing some of these voluntary proposals, or expresses support for the effort, it would go a long way toward building a perception that it’s a more secure site for doing business.

Then again, with the commerce numbers from Facebook on the rise, maybe it can keep using the same approach: Introduce tools and enhancements and ask for forgiveness later.

Here are the voluntary proposals the Department of Commerce introduced:

  • Establish nationally recognized but voluntary codes of conduct to minimize cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
  • Developing incentives to combat cybersecurity threats.
  • Improve public understanding of cybersecurity vulnerabilities through education and research.
  • Enhance international collaboration on cybersecurity best practices to support expanded global markets for U.S. products.

What do you think of the latest effort by the U.S. government to make online commerce safer?