Love WOT And It Will Love You Right Back!

disappear I know that many of my regular readers have been wondering just where I’ve been for the last few weeks. So, let me fill you in.

Every year, usually in December, I donate my tech services, for several weeks, to a number of organizations that provide computer systems to disadvantaged families.

As part of that process, I generally provide system setup and basic instructions on Internet use, with a particular emphasis on Internet security.

This year, as part of that process, I installed WOT (Web of Trust), on each computer I hooked to the Internet, after which I gave a brief demonstration on the powerful impact WOT can have on the safety, and security, of the attached system and the user.

In each case, I was struck by the level of enthusiasm generated by the addition of this small Internet Browser add-on to the client’s system, after a demonstration of web surfing both with WOT, and without WOT. To say that every client felt reassured, and more confident about surfing the Internet, would be to understate the impact WOT had on these people.

There are many reasons why I offer my services gratis for two weeks in December every year, not the least being that in doing so, I get a refresher course on the true state of current computer users’ competency and knowledge, unaffected by outside influences.

A number of times, in the past year or so, I’ve written about what I consider to be the massive disconnect between the reality of a typical computer users level of competency, and the views held by operating system and application software developers, who truly believe that there is a great tech savvy generation out there in the wild blue. My disagreement with this view increases every year.

This disconnection in reality, particularly as it applies to Internet security and safety, is the principal reason why I insisted on installing WOT on every system I came into contact with this year. If you’re unfamiliar with WOT and the protection it offers, then read on and you too might just fall in love.

What is WOT?

WOT is a free Internet Browser resource that has established an impressive 4.5/5.0 star user rating on CNET, and has become one of the most downloaded FireFox Add-ons at the Mozilla add-on site.

WOT investigates web sites you are visiting for spyware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, unreliable online shops, phishing, and online scams, helping you avoid unsafe web sites.

Here’s a Google search in which WOT indicates which sites are safe. Notice the unsafe sites in the Google ads!

WOT Google

(Click pic for larger)

As an added safety feature take a look at what happens if, in fact, you do end up on an unsafe web site. WOT’s dropdown warning current blocks access to the site until you determine otherwise.

WOTdropdown curtain

(Click pic for larger)

WOT operates in a unique fashion in order to offer active protection to the Internet user community. It stands out from the crowd of similar applications, by soliciting the opinions of users/members whose views on web site safety are incorporated into the overall site safety rating. According to WOT, the user community now has reputation data on over 20 million sites worldwide.

The advantages of user participation in exchanging their personal knowledge regarding a web site, in my view, cannot be overemphasized. It allows for a new and exciting trend in Internet security, and that is the concept of “people driven security”. A concept that encompasses the philosophy, that we are all responsible for each others security on the Internet.

The shared information on a site’s reputation includes trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy, and child safety. As well, in order to achieve maximum security coverage, WOT uses thousands of trusted sources including phishing site listings, to keep users protected against rapidly spreading threats.

WOT integrates seamlessly with search engine results from popular search engines including Google, Yahoo, MSN and other popular sites, and provides impressive protection against Internet predators.

WOT recently added the top three web-based email services – Google Gmail, Windows Live Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail, to its free security protection. You can now feel more confident and secure since WOT checks links embedded in your email, and warns you of dangerous web sites so that you can avoid spyware, spam, phishing, identity theft and other Internet scams; before you click on dangerous embedded links.

How WOT works

The Browser add-on icon, displays a color rating for each site you visit, indicating whether a site is safe to use, should be used with caution, or avoided entirely. Using traffic light colors, (green, yellow, and red), WOT leaves you in no doubt as to the safety rating of a web site. An impressive feature of WOT is the dropdown transparent warning curtain, shown earlier, triggered on visiting a dangerous site.

Recognizing that up to ten percent of Internet users are at a disadvantage however, due to colorblindness, and cannot rely on an Internet safety system based on color coding, the Web of Trust development team recently released an adaptive version of WOT. This version incorporates equivalent alternative information, through assistive or adaptive technology, for colorblind users.

This colorblind accessible application provides the same critical benefits to those individuals who have to contend with visual impairments, as it has to those of us who have come to rely on WOT as a major defense against the pervasive hazards we encounter on the Internet.

Esa Suurio, CEO of Against Intuition Inc. referring to WOT’s development, stated in part “Our goal is to make the Internet a safer place for everyone”. You too can do your part in enhancing protection for all Internet users, by installing WOT.

Quick facts – WOT checks the following on each web site visited:


Vendor reliability


Child Safety

More quick facts:

Ratings for over 20 million websites

Downloaded 1,000,000 times +

The WOT browser add-on is light and updates automatically

WOT rating icons appear beside search results in Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Gmail, etc.

Settings can be customized to better protect your family

WOT Security Scorecard shows rating details and user comments

Works with Internet Explorer and FireFox

Interface supports English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish and Finnish.

Surf more securely by installing this browser add-on which will provide you with an in-depth site analysis based on real world results. Keep in mind however, that you are your own best protection. Stop · Think · Click

Download at: MyWot

Watch a demo video showing how WOT works in practice.


Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Browser add-ons, Browsers, Don't Get Hacked, Email, Firefox Add-ons, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Internet Safety, Internet Safety for Children, Internet Safety Tools, Online Safety, Safe Surfing, Software, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

10 responses to “Love WOT And It Will Love You Right Back!

  1. g

    i’m a faithful follower and user of the WOT

    it’s a great tool for young computer users as the color symbols that show up next to a website link show if the site is safe.

    it’s amazing how many times wot has saved me during my search episodes. keeps me from just clicking on any old site that i happen across.

    • billmullins


      You’re point is well taken. Young computer users’ are well protected, since
      child safety is a major focus of WOT.


  2. whatsonmypc


    You’re the one that put me onto WOT… Just installed it on a friends PC yesterday… Absolutely a must on any PC…

    Glad to see you back; but, is also good to know that a friend offers his service and expertise to help others.


    • billmullins


      I agree, surfing without WOT is akin to jumping out of a plane without a
      parachute. One might make it but…….


  3. You are not the only person who has noticed the tremendous ignorance and niavete of the masses. Microsoft has concluded that – after literally decades of “user education” – people cannot be counted on to run updates, turn on the firewall, install and update an antivirus, etc., and is in the process of taking this out of our hands and automating it, with an all-new strategy for “One Care”.
    I applaud this move.

    I recently installed a beta of Windows 7, and immediately warnings popped up saying “GET AN ANTIVIRUS ONBOARD .. NOW. Click here”.

    Sadly, warnings are not enough.. and even providing direct links is not enough.
    People want to check their e-mail NOW.. not download programs NOW.

    The next step — IMHO — is for all the ISP’s to realize this fact too. They need to enable basic NAC on their “pipelines”
    If you aren’t patched, have a working AV, then no dial tone. Period.

    I am not really blaming or condemning “the average computer user”, and I’m certainly not ‘punishing them’. People should not have to learn a foriegn language (geek), nor read technical manuals to send a note to a friend the same way everybody else does — and yet, that has been the expectation during the evolution of computers

    • billmullins


      As you say I am “not the only person who has noticed the tremendous
      ignorance and naivete of the masses”. However, I am one of the very
      few Internet security experts to speak to this issue on a relatively continuous basis.

      In dealing with Internet security issues, I’m often frustratingly reminded of the “head in the sand syndrome” – if we ignore it it will go away, if we ignore it then it can’t be real, if we ignore it will get better, anon.

      I agree with the balance of your comment, particularly your observation that Microsoft has made a commendable effort to address some of these issues in Windows 7. I too am using Windows 7, and like you, have been impressed with Microsoft’s efforts in this area.

      However, I’ve been around long enough to understand that the long term impact of this will be essentially nil. A viable partial solution, as you suggest is “for all the ISP’s to realize this fact too. They need to enable basic NAC on their “pipelines. If you aren’t patched, have a working AV, then no dial tone. Period.

      The current state of the Internet is far beyond the “dangerous” stage, and concerted action from all involved stakeholders, needs to take place NOW.


  4. Perhaps I didn’t phrase it real well, but what I was trying to say was simply that– rather slowly, and certainly belatedly, some rather large industry leaders are coming around to the same conclusions.

    I am quite in agreement with your assessments, which is one reason I have been a daily reader since I first found you, over a year ago now. I very much appreciate quality and consistency of your information and advice.

    I have said it before, and I will say it again: I think certain things you’ve written ought to be “required reading” before someone gets the “surfer’s license”.

  5. Pingback: Valentines Day Spam - You’ve Been Warned! « Bill Mullins’ Weblog - Tech Thoughts

  6. Jigar Savla

    Really good reading. I have myself been a regular user of WOT for quite a few months now, and have wholehearted admiration for the same. I think all people should have this Add-On installed.