It would be difficult for regular readers of this site not to be aware, that I write consistently on the importance of Internet Browser protection.
In fact, we’ve covered 20 or more Browser add-ons here in the past few weeks – from add-ons that add functionality, to those that promise to provide additional security.
All this coverage of Browser add-ons rattled my Brain somewhat, and got me thinking about the single most important add-on I have installed – the add-on I couldn’t do without.
Based on the way that I surf the Web, there was no contest. Of the 17 add-ons I have installed on Firefox, the hands down winner – the single most important add-on for my style of surfing is WOT (Web of Trust). I don’t think I’m alone in this assessment.
I frequently hear from readers who, after installing WOT on their computer systems, feel reassured that they are safer than ever before, and who express a renewed sense of confidence, and a new level of enthusiasm, while surfing the Internet.
In fact, just under 6,000 Tech Thoughts readers have installed WOT in the last two years – according to today’s download stats.
And why not. Security starts with the Web Browser, and WOT substantially reduces the risk exposure, that comes with wandering through the increasingly risky neighborhood that the Internet has become.
What is WOT?
WOT, one of the most downloaded Firefox Add-ons at the Mozilla add-on site, (also compatible with Internet Explorer and Chrome), is a free Internet Browser resource which 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.
For example, here’s a Google search in which WOT indicates which sites are safe. Notice the unsafe (red) sites, in the Google ads!
Take a look at what happens if, in fact, you do end up on an unsafe web site. WOT’s dropdown warning curtain blocks access to the site until you determine otherwise.
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 30 million sites worldwide.
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.
Quick facts – WOT checks the following on each web site visited:
More quick facts:
Ratings for over 30 million websites
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, Firefox and Chrome
Interface supports English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish and Finnish.
System requirements: Windows (all), Mac OS X, Linux
Download at: MyWot
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.
If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.