This free malware detection browser addon similar to McAfee SiteAdvisor is a community based website reputation rating system for Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome and Internet Explorer with more than 5 millions of users, WoT uses the collective data to detect websites that contain malware. An icon using green, yellow and red colours in the browser indicates the overall website approval rating, you can customize it to reflect the way you surf the Internet, if you don’t care about adult content related sites for example, you can disable child safety warnings.
To establish if a site is safe, besides the online community ratings, WoT has access to a list of databases containing phishing and malware websites, to stop spammers using the system to mislead users WoT uses a complex algorithm tracking each user’s rating behaviour allocating trust to the individual user rating a site, thus eliminating manipulation.
Web of Trust (WoT) ratings
- Trustworthiness: It marks with a red light all sites containing spyware and Internet scams.
- Vendor reliability: Returning products problems, shipping delays and customer service are rated here.
- Privacy: Websites that can not be trusted not to send spam to your email address will be given a very low privacy rating.
- Child Safety: Adult materials like violence related content is highlighted within this setting.
When you search the Internet with the security WoT browser addon installed Google, Bing, Yahoo (over 20 search engines), Wikipedia, Windows Live Hotmail, Gmail and other sites will show a WoT rating next to each external link allowing you to decide if a site is safe to go to before clicking on it, there is no need to register in order to use WoT but registration allows users to make comments on websites, that is where it gets tricky because like all user generated content, the comments do not necessarily reflect reality, the more people contribute reviewing a site the more trustworthy it will be, in many cases you will be left wondering about the accuracy of the comments.
The Web of Trust (WoT) plugin makes for a good complementary tool for your online security needs but it should not be the only application you rely on, colour blind people can benefit from this Internet security addon too by changing the settings to a mode that does not rely on a colour code warning system.