Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

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WOT Logo 300x300   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOTThe Internet is often thought to be a place of great information, and because of this, our guard can be easily let down assuming that all places are safe. Although it is true that the Internet is an excellent place for information and researching, not all places can be trusted. All kinds of threats are possible online – viruses and malware, phishing, scams, unsatisfactory shopping experiences and untrustworthy content.

These are growing rapidly throughout the Internet. We’ve all heard stories about someone, maybe even yourself, who visited a website without realizing beforehand what it was and having something downloaded onto your computer without your permission.  Thankfully, there is a tool to help guide you a little safer around about the Internet. That tool is called Web of Trust, otherwise abbreviated as WOT.

About Web Of Trust

Based out of Finland, Web of Trust has been helping people have the best online experience possible since 2006. And due to being downloaded over 30 million times during the spring of 2012, it has become the leader of the safe browsing tools on the Internet.

It works by allowing users to rate their experience in four different categories: trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy and child safety. It then calculates the reputation for the rated websites and displays them through a traffic-light style rating system which is displayed next to links in search results, social networks, webmail and several popular websites. Like you might assume, a green sign indicates the site is trustworthy and safe, yellow represents caution and red tells the user that the site may be dangerous.

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WOT Rating Window   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

WOT is available for all the popular browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera. If one of these listed isn’t the one you have, you can also use the WOT bookmarklet, which has all the same features as the browser extension. Most of all Web of Trust is free.

Getting Started With Web Of Trust

To download WOT, head over to mywot.com, click on the download tab and choose the appropriate one for your browser. Again, there is also a bookmarklet available as well. Once you’ve downloaded it, you’ll be asked to give it permission to your data on all websites, and your tabs and browsing activity. Click “Add” to continue. Once you do, a tab will automatically open displaying a message for the initial settings.

WOT Settings Message1   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

One thing that is great about WOT is the colorblind feature. You can learn more about it by clicking “What is this?” next to the option. After you have chosen your setting and clicked “Finish,” there will be a settings page where you can adjust WOT. The first page, which you’ll automatically be on, is a guide. I recommend quickly walking through this. It can be quite beneficial and give you a good idea how WOT works.

WOT Settings Page   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

There is a row of tabs at the top of the page. Once you’ve finished the guide, become familiar with each of the options that WOT has. Typically this is a one time set up and you shouldn’t have to go back in and change anything, unless you want to later on. You’ll be able to access this page again any time by going to the extension’s options.

Under “Ratings” you have the option to choose any or all of the additional ratings. They’re all selected by default, which shouldn’t be changed unless you for sure know you won’t need one, like “Child Safety” for example.

WOT Ratings Page   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

Next there’s “Warnings.” The options here depend entirely on how sensitive that you want WOT to be. I recommend starting out with “Normal” and then going back and changing it depending on your own personal experiences.

WOT Warnings Page   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

Each website has its own scorecard too. On this, the ratings are displayed, as well as site information and comments by other WOT users.

WOT Scorecard   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

After “Warnings” there’s “Searching.” By default, all the websites listed are selected, but you can uncheck any of them if you want. You also have the option of only showing negative ratings. This is nice because although WOT is great, a bunch of green circles all over the page are often annoying, especially on social networks and webmail.

WOT Searching Page   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

Below is an example of how WOT might look in your search results.

WOT Reputation   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

Then there is the “Popup” page which allows you to toggle the popup feature of WOT.

WOT Pop up Page   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

Lastly, there’s the “Advanced” page where you are given the options to enable a color-blind accessible version and also set it to automatically log in.

WOT Advanced Page   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

Setting up an account is the next step. Of course, you can use WOT without registering, but it becomes more useful to you if you do. For example, if you’re logged in, it will remember your previous ratings of sites. To register, click the extension to display the dropdown menu. At the bottom right corner, you’ll see “Register”. Click on that and follow the steps.

Once you have an account, you can also connect WOT to Facebook. This means that you’ll always be logged into WOT as long as you’re logged into Facebook – and who isn’t always logged into Facebook?!

WOT Facebook Connect Pop up   Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT

The photo above is an example of what a rating on Facebook would look like and how the popup is displayed if the circle next to the link is clicked.

Another reason to register with WOT is to have the ability to leave comments about a particular site. This may not directly impact you, but it does help other WOT users and without people who did this, there wouldn’t even be a WOT community, and without a community, WOT wouldn’t be anything at all. So each person and rating is essential to the accuracy and usability of WOT.

Conclusion

There you have it – your online bodyguard, ready to serve you. One thing I do want to acknowledge that is important to remember is that Web of Trust doesn’t replace logic. You shouldn’t ever rely completely on a program for your security and privacy. Just like you shouldn’t rely on antivirus software to prevent infections, you shouldn’t rely on WOT to prevent clicking on “bad” links. Your own discretion is your ultimate Internet bodyguard, WOT is just a nice, reliable sidekick to have along.

Are you a current user or a newcomer to WOT? If you’re a current user, how has WOT changed your browsing experience? If you are just finding out about WOT, what about it attracts you the most?

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57 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

ecd4a4d35dce1b96560e85a8ce64f578

I’ve been using WOT ever since I stopped using McAfee. Great resource!

Aaron Couch

Yep… I’ve used McAfee too. WOT trumps it and all the others.

I think anyways…

Thanks for reading… ecd4a4d35dce1b96560e85a8ce64f578… is that really your name? :P

Reply

Richard Borkovec

Been using WOT since about 2008. It’s the first extension I install whenever I have to reinstall Firefox or Chrome, or when I install them on someone’s computer.

Aaron Couch

Richard,

Same here. I always install it first on any browser and constantly recommend it to clients, family and friends.

Thanks for reading!

Ikhlass

Hello Evry Body :D

Reply

Lambvolution

WOT users since a month ago..very useful

Aaron Couch

That’s great! And I agree.

Thanks for reading!

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barney

WOT can be corrupted so easily it ain’t even funny. All a competitor has to do is to report your site to WOT and everyone using it gets a warning when they get to your site. If they trust WOT, they avoid your site in the future.

The idea behind WOT is commendable: the implementation is reprehensible. There is not a useful means of redress if you happen to be the owner of a site that WOT _downgrades_.

Mind you, I don’t have a Website, I’ve never been affected by WOT. But I won’t use it because of its affinity for misuse.

(If you don’t believe me, Aaron, report this blog as dangerous. Then see what Hell you’ll go through trying to restore it – if you ever do!)

Roger Akers

I agree with this. For startup companies and websites just beginning to get noticed, it’s too easy to damage the “reputation”. There should be a minimum amount of votes before the scores become visible (or something similar). I’ve seen these kind of “attacks” on several websites.

Aaron Couch

That isn’t a bad suggestion Roger! I like that.

Aaron Couch

Barney,

Thanks for your comment. I do realize the potential of abuse behind it. Although, I do feel it takes much more than one rating to affect that site’s reputation.

A sales company I worked for had a terrible reputation on WOT, but was completely legitimate and a great company, so I understand the negatives that WOT can have.

That said, in the scheme of things, I still feel the positives surpass the negatives.

But like I said, you have a valid point and it is the drawback with WOT.

Thanks for reading!

Michael Shurr

Sounds like a good thing to stay away from. Even Wickapedia has a way to fix.

Aaron Couch

Michael,

Before you jump to conclusions, I do recommend you check out and thoroughly research it. I’m not criticizing you — you’re more than welcome to sharing your thoughts and opinions and I welcome them.

However, for your own interest, I recommend looking into WOT a little bit more. Then if you still feel it’s not something that you want to use, that’s fine. But be sure you KNOW everything about it. I tried to depict a good idea of what it’s all about in this article, but with a quick Google search, you will be able to find a lot more information about it.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

fizzbin88

This is a valid point, however, once WOT becomes more widespread and more of a “must have”, then the truth shall rise to the surface. I truly believe that there are MANY more honest, reliable, conscientious people out there to set the record straight, so to speak… I’ve always believed that the people need to be society’s “police” and WOT is one way to accomplish this !

Aaron Couch

Couldn’t agree more fizzbin!

Thanks for reading and sharing your input on this matter!

fizzbin88

I just wish more people would use it… It has saved my butt many times… stopping potentially dangerous Sites from loading… there… tweeted it again !!!

Aaron Couch

Yep! Same here. I recommend it to everyone I know. Some people are receptive… some aren’t… some simply don’t care. What bugs me is it’s usually those that don’t care that end up contacting me because they have a virus. And I’m too nice to not help them… doesn’t mean I’m not too mean though to tell them I told them so.

Thanks for the additional tweet! Hopefully you keep impacting people to use WOT!

Reply

Shawn Ashree Baba

Seems like a great way to stay safe on the internet. I’ll keep this in mind.

Aaron Couch

It is. I highly recommend installing it!

Thanks for reading Shawn.

Reply

Aditya Roy

Installed… Thanks :)

Aaron Couch

Awesome! Glad you liked the article Aditya!

Reply

Tony Alexander

WOT has been my no.1 security extension for years. It’s very useful, in fact, I do not browse online without WOT! I have visited a number of websites which seem to be malicious (but, I didn’t knew it, or else I wouldn’t go there in the first place) and WOT has displayed a warning on all the malicious websites I have ever visited. If I see a WOT warning for a website, I immediately close the tab! It is also very useful when you search in google, as it displays their trustworthiness then and there itself. No extra clicking needed.

The only problem with WOT I have found is that it displays a trustworthiness rating (that little green circle) for all the link you can find on a webpage. It sometimes messes up the display if there are too many links on a webpage. But it is great for checking if a shortened url is trustworthy or not, among others.

Aaron Couch

Tony,

I use WOT all the time as well. You can actually change WOT settings to only show yellow and red circles so you don’t see green circles all over the web page.

On the “Searching” tab, check the box “show only negative ratings.” Let me know if that works for you!

Thanks for reading.

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Igor Rizvi?

Great Program,i found avast rater ,or avg search tray,slowing down my browser adnd surfing in general,but this is really usefull program

Aaron Couch

I agree Igor. I’ve used several others besides WOT and haven’t been very impressed. So far, WOT is the best. Hands down. At least in my opinion.

Thanks for reading!

Reply

fizzbin88

Can’t say enough good things about WOT. Please don’t browse without it !!!

Aaron Couch

You heard it from fizzbin88, not me! (well… me too actually) Nonetheless, don’t browse with out it!

Haha thanks for reading fizzbin!

Reply

Jon Smith

Sometimes WOT isn’t too great because some sites are rarely visited; therefore, not too many votes to know if it is really a good or bad site

Aaron Couch

Jon,

You’re right. Which is the one downfall of a user-based model. However, that is why I always make sure to rate sites!

Reply

achyut reddy

Wot is very useful. I have been using it for a month now.

Aaron Couch

That’s awesome! Glad you are using it.

Reply

Jyotsna Narayan

i m using dis…

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tarzan2001

Seems a lot like the Avast! WebRep add-on that comes with Avast! Antivirus. Personally, I turned it off because I mostly just visit the same trusted sites, but I suppose if one is planning on “exploring” the internet, a tool like WOT would be quite useful! :)

Aaron Couch

Tarzan,

There are a lot of other similar tools to WOT out there for sure. I definitely understand where you’re coming from, BUT where we think we go, is often disconnected with where we actually go.

Take dieting for instance. Many people actually feel they eat fairly healthy, but when they start holding themselves to write down everything they eat, they realize they eat a lot more and a lot worse foods than they imagined.

Although this isn’t always the case across the board, and maybe your an exception, I have found this to be the case for myself with my web surfing habits.

I have my “popular/trusted” sites that I always go to: Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, different blogs… but you can’t tell me that you don’t use Google or click on a link on a social network site or blog article. That’s what the Internet is all about!

WOT, isn’t very invasive either. You can actually turn off the “green circles” and only be shown the red or yellow ones in search results – which is something I do.

Hope this helps to make your decision. And thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts — I definitely appreciate it.

tarzan2001

That makes sense. Sometimes even seemingly “innocent” sites have been infected with viruses and such, and it would be good to know about them, or to alert others. I once visited a credible university’s website, only to have my antivirus alert me to a virus on the site! The webmaster must not have known about it, but a tool like WOT would be useful to alert others of the danger until it’s resolved.

I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to give WOT a try. It’s only a source of more knowledge, and knowledge is power, so it’s always welcome! ;) Thanks for the suggestion, Aaron, and keep the great articles coming! :)

Aaron Couch

Thanks Tarzan!

You’re right. And that is the correct way to look at it. We should never rely solely on one piece of software to make decisions for us.

Common sense is the best app. BUT, it’s a nice tool to have in aiding our decisions.

Reply

Kurt Decker

I have been on WOT forever. Thanks for letting people know about this!

Aaron Couch

Thanks for reading Kurt! You’re definitely welcome. I always feel obligated to share what I know with others… otherwise I feel like I’m doing them a disservice.

Reply

Nart Barileva

I’ve been already using this for as long as I’ve had Chrome (which is pretty long)

Aaron Couch

Nart,

Good for you! It’s a great extension and, in my opinion, a must for every browser… which is great because it practically works with every browser — one of the few that does.

Thanks for reading and for your comment!

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Tug Ricks

Yeah, thanks for the info. Before now my view of WOT was that they were just another spammy toolbar for my mom to accidentally install. :)

Aaron Couch

Tug,

I know right?! Gah those drive me insane! Although, WOT is only a toolbar for IE, maybe you could get her to switch so it isn’t in the way as much?

Thanks for reading man! I appreciate your comments!

Reply

Mburu Solista

i have been using it for 2 years now and it a great app

Aaron Couch

Yes it is! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

Reply

Yasin Soliman

Useful safety and website reputation extension – great!

Aaron Couch

Yasmin,

It is great! Do you already use WOT or is this the first time you’ve heard about it?

Reply

fatihamzah

I know it, but i am not use it now. Is it better than IObit surfing protection?

Aaron Couch

I honestly cannot contest the quality of IObit Surf Protection, but I do know that WOT has a huge community backing which is always more powerful than any one company’s efforts to rate sites.

Aaron Couch

Note: sorry about that misspelling there. I’m not sure what happened. I was going to say “…because I’ve never used it [IObit Surf Protection]”

Reply

Ram

Is it available for ubuntu or any another Linux distribution ?

Aaron Couch

Ram,

Yes. It works with Linux.

Reply

Ashwin Ramesh

thanks for sharing!

Aaron Couch

You’re welcome Ashwin! Thanks for reading.

Reply

Efi Dreyshner

Looks great!
I will check it!

Aaron Couch

Glad you like it! Thanks for reading Efi.

Reply

Brandon Lockaby

Awesome site. I love the way it warns me if the site is in the red. And give me the choice to continue to said site.

Reply

AP

It’s better than URL Advisor provided by Antivirus softwares.

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