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. 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.
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 from being harvested.
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!