Safe Surfing

July 18, 2008 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Internet, Security, Software | 6 Comments

Back in December, I reviewed tools for safe surfing. Since then, LinkScanner is no longer a recommended tool. There are concerns that it tracks your browsing history. I’ve been using McAfee’s SiteAdvisor and trying others here and there. Now WOT, for Web Of Trust, has been recommended so I gave it a test run. WOT is more user driven and checks a little different set of categories, including child saftey. In some ways, I like the SA information better – it’s more specific why –  but I have also noticed it sometimes pans a site because it has a link to a less reputable site. It’s also fussier to offer feedback.

The WOT search results come up faster than SA and generally match. WOT seems to require that you go to the site to offer feeback – not ideal if it’s a site with issues. SA allows you to link from the search engine results. WOT shows up on links in pages sometimes too. Will try both for a bit and see how they compare.



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  1. Thanks for trying out WOT, David. We strive to be the best we can be, so please share your insights and suggestions with us as you test out Web of Trust more.

    One improvement we just made is that you can rate a site now directly from the scorecard, so you don’t have to actually risk your computer by visiting an unsafe site. You can also edit a rating and add a comment from the scorecard. Read about the scorecard improvements here.

    Best regards,
    Web of Trust


  2. Thanks for the feedback Deborah. Sounds like good improvements. My feedback may be slow – have been taking some very nice time out…


  3. These days, I recommend WOT for simplicity. If you’re more geeky, Linkextend includes the recommendations of several services, including WOT


  4. LinkExtend has not been updated in some time so has become weak in it’s role and does not display in browser search results. That’s an important part of avoiding going to troublesome sites. Recently Safe Preview was suggested as an alternative. It’s a good “second opinion” check.

    WOT continues to be the top recommended as well as having vastly more data per site. I now use WOT for search results, Safe Preview for the overview, and VTzilla (for Firefox) to get a detailed virus check. The last is a VirusTotal product, a service that monitors multiple services for web hazards. WOT also has an easily accessible detailed review.

    You’ll also get better results with VTzilla if you use a search tool like It uses Google but without the tracking. Google and Yahoo both use nested links in their search results to track your clicks but this practice of nesting obscures where you’re actually going. That obscures the site checking you might prefer with VTzilla or WOT. Startpage has none of those issues as well as not tracking your search activity.


  5. Another suggestion came up:
    This removes redirects (nested links) from Googles search results. This reduces (but doesn’t remove) Google tracking and allows WOT and VTzilla to be simple right-clicks.


  6. WOT has been selling user data to third parties and is now blocked in Firefox. Their web site mentions nothing about it and their home page is blocked by a pop-up pushing the tool for mobile – even if you’re not on a mobile. Not recommended anymore.


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