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If you have Web of Trust installed, you should consider uninstalling it right now. Why? Because Web of Trust, also known as WOT, has been caught collecting and selling user data. Even worse, this data hasn’t always been successfully anonymized.

Web of Trust (WOT) is a tool designed to help you browse the web safely Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT Browse Safely With Your Own Internet Bodyguard Called WOT Read More . Users rate websites based on different metrics, and websites are then assigned a safety rating. Anyone with WOT installed on their web browser can then instantly get an idea of which websites are safe to visit.

The problem, as discovered by German broadcaster NDR, is that WOT collects data about its users, and then sells it onto third parties. This part is all openly admitted in the Web of Trust Privacy Policy. However, this states that the data is “non-identifiable,” and that appears to not be the case.

NDR investigators were able to link the so-called anonymized data to individual users. The data included browsing histories, travel plans, health issues, and ongoing police investigations. None of which is information most of us would like being shared with anyone, let alone companies with a potentially vested interest.

Our Advice Is to Uninstall WoT Temporarily

In light of these revelations, Mozilla removed the Web of Trust add-on from its store. WOT then voluntarily removed the extension from other platforms. However, if you’re an existing user who already has WOT installed you need to manually uninstall Web of Trust to prevent your browsing data How To Manually & Automatically Clear Your Browser History How To Manually & Automatically Clear Your Browser History As you browse the Internet, tracks of websites you visit are left on your computer, including cookies, cached websites, a history of visited sites and searches, site preferences, and more. These data reveal your browsing... Read More from being harvested.

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It should be noted that in its official statement on the matter, Web of Trust maintains this affects only “a very small number of WOT users”. However, the Finnish company does admit this is a problem, and promised to take “address this matter urgently as part of a full security assessment and review”.

Our advice is to uninstall Web of Trust for the time being, giving the company a chance to put its house in order. WOT has hinted at a speedy relaunch with clearer warnings over the collection of data, and more stringent security measures in order to protect its users’ data.

Do you use Web of Trust? How do you feel about these revelations? Did you even know WOT was collecting your data and selling it onto third parties? Are you concerned about the ease with which this data was de-anonymized? Please let us know in the comments below!

  1. Mike
    November 24, 2016 at 7:58 am

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  2. harambe
    November 17, 2016 at 3:06 am

    My Web of Trust extension was deleted automatically. At first I thought either a hacker or my paranoid mom took it off, but after reading these articles I think I'll stick to MalwareBytes scans.

  3. Ming Lam
    November 12, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    What other alternative (free ones) that we can use instead of WOT? Thanks.

  4. Luvinlex
    November 9, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Why get my information? I have 27 dollars in the bank and on dusabity. I don't care if third parties get my information??

  5. Earl
    November 9, 2016 at 8:49 am

    They've "been caught" doing what the privacy policy on their website says they do? Wow.

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