MyWOT May Help You Avoid Potentially Dangerous Websites

Its a sad fact of life that the internet is home to a large number of websites that have not been created to entertain, educate or otherwise provide any useful purpose.

Instead, a small handful of sites are designed for the purpose of taking your money or infecting your computer.

If you wish to avoid websites that promote scams, worms, viruses, identity theft and other undesirable purposes then could MyWot be the solution?

Free Internet Security - WOT Web of Trust

MyWOT (Web of Trust) is a free program that provides ratings for over 22 million websites.

Through the rating system MyWot can help users determine whether any of the sites in their database pose a risk, be it in terms of spam or viruses, through selling fake goods or because they have been known to scam their users.

Web of Trust works because it allows its community of users to determine the reputation of any given site though such a system can, of course, be somewhat subjective and I imagine that where a site only has a handful of responses there is the possibility that the results could be ‘gamed’ to a certain degree.

MYWOT IS EASY TO INSTALL

If you wish to use the MyWot service then it is fairly easy to do so – just visit their site and download the add-on for either Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Once you have the add-on installed into your browser you can customise your settings and then you will see icons next to the search results in Google.

These icons are colour-coded thus –

  • green suggests that the site can be trusted
  • yellow indicates that you should proceed with caution
  • red means STOP!

Should you click on one of the links that has a red circle next to it, either inadvertently or on purpose, then a custom page will displayed, warning you that you are visiting a site that may be dangerous.

You are, however, given a link to click should you wish to proceed and visit that page anyway.

RATE THE SITES YOU VISIT

With the add-on you also get the opportunity to rate sites yourself.

Whilst visiting a website you will be able to press a button at the top of your browser which will allow you to assign different ratings to the site, based on a few different categories which are –

  • Trustworthiness
  • Vendor Reliability
  • Privacy
  • Child Safety

CONCLUSION

As I mentioned earlier, sites which only have a couple of ratings may be, potentially, incorrectly rated.

However, any site that has been rated by a large group of people is likely to have an overall rating that is somewhat more accurate.

Obviously MyWot is no substitute for common sense or a good suite of internet security products but it does add an extra, and genuinely useful, layer of protection to your internet surfing experience.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. I think MyWot only rates good for sites with tons of rating like Google or Facebook since it will be impossible to make a false ratings, but my site which gets under 400 hits in a day can get a few false ratings and become yellow like it is now.

    Competitors, trolls, people who don’t like your sites message like if your site is about “cheap labor and why it is wrong” and other controversial topics you might get bad ratings on MyWot from people who do not agree with your “point of view”

    • I think that pretty well sums up my thoughts – where you have a large pool of votes you’ll likely get an accurate picture built up but when there are less votes its more open to those who would skew them for whatever purpose.

      • MyWot is similar to a teacher rating website called “Rate my Proffesor” the comments can be true about a certain teacher according to one persons “point of view”, but mostly comments are negatives based on someone “POV” not based on homework grading criteria which in most cases are not biased.

        I also read online “some” MyWOT members on forums have a mob mentality where they follow other members to rate down people websites without real proof of fraudulent activity sort of like when a bunch of people bully a kid for no good reason, but to be part of a mob or following orders to rate down their competitors by the boss.

        The MyWot forum seems to be full of people complaining about false rating for their smaller low traffic sites, and how they can correct this which can be hard since low traffic sites don’t get much traffic,so it can take a long time to be Green again.

        MyWot can also be used as a censorship tool by a certain demographic of people like “extreme Linux supporters” making fasle claims on smaller sites about Windows, so MyWot users will be less likely to visit those sites.

        I decided to remove MyWot since I now use AVG toolbar which scan pages for viruses, and malware which come with AVG free antivirus. Plus, I have the paid version of SuperAntiSpyware installed with an active shield. I also believe web browsers like IE8, Google Chrome, Opera, etc already have anti-phishing features. I can always do a search on the Better Buisness Bureau and other sites for company reputation info.

        Plus, it is odd if you visit the add-on page for Mywot on Firefox that MyWot hired a negative replyer to reply to almost every negative comment and there are many, and finding ways to contradict it by posting some link back to their own website instead of a third party independant software tester website article or another source.

        I feel WOT is starting to have a bit of “public image” problem if they have to reply to almost every bad comments by users on Firefox add-on site. You don’t really see other companies like Microsoft replying to costumers who have had bad experiences with Windows on forums.

  2. Rob Deangelo says:

    You have to wonder though, how they’re making money to pay for the massive servers and full time staff. Remember, they know every site you visit, monitoring your purchasing habits; when, where, what you buy. Maybe they are selling your information to marketing companies who then invasively send you related pop-up advertisements? He’s doing the very thing he’s ‘protecting’ you from. And now Esa Suurio is “leaving his position of CEO at MyWOT” in order to “move on”. Hmm, I wonder why…

  3. It never hurts to try myWOT, It’s FREE (who would pass out a free trial?).
    You should have an anti-virus software installed in your computer as a precaution.
    Though it does not stop people from stealing your personal informations,
    it can prevent. But it’s not an assurance that you’d be protected ’cause some
    websites look harmless.

    The safest thing to do really is to not give too many information on the internet.
    Type in the exact addresses of the websites you wish to view rather than clicking on links.

  4. I checked it out and it looks quite interesting actually. Thanks for this post.

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