How do you know if the website you’re about to visit, or the sites listed in a web search, are safe? One of the easiest ways to get infected or scammed is to simply browse the web without first ascertaining if the sites you visit are safe to do so.
While web browsers do have some protection built-in, they tend to only target fake websites, which come and go in 24 hours. Other websites deemed to have privacy and security issues are usually left well alone. As a result, you’re left surfing the web blind, with little or no idea if the website in question can be trusted or not.
Some security tools offer web-filtering add-ons for major browsers, but Web of Trust aims to provide a safe browsing environment for those who don’t have access to such luxuries. It’s a free browser add-on which is also available for Internet Explorer and Chrome.
Sites, search engine results and even links in web-based email accounts like Gmail and Windows Live Hotmail are rated green, amber or red based on their safety and security ratings, enabling you to avoid sites that harbour malware and other dangers (if you inadvertently visit a site rated dangerous a clearly visible warning will pop up). The ratings are provided by over three million WOT users, and you can add your own to the list. Unfortunately, these ratings aren’t 100 per cent accurate, and a growing number of people are complaining that perfectly safe sites are being blocked due to subjective reviewing criteria.
This is the major WOT update (v2). WOT now tells the reasons behind user ratings and has redesigned user interface.
The concept is perfect, adding a vital layer of protection to your web browsing, but the ratings aren’t 100 per cent reliable, which limits its usefulness.