Useful browser addon - WOT

Published: 2009-06-17
Last Updated: 2009-06-17 01:11:21 UTC
by Jason Lam (Version: 1)
9 comment(s)

I have been playing around with the WOT browser add-on for couple weeks with good results. WOT stands for Web Of Trust, it is a community knowledge based system where information on websites are shared. After installing the add-on, the links from search engines are tagged with extra symbols showing whether the site's "reputation" level. Very simple to understand, red means potentially bad site and green means good site.

As you can imagine, lots of links to malicious sites flow through my mailbox every day, WOT toolbar was able to identify most of them (I only recall a few instances where it failed). On the other hand, some of the seemingly legit site seems to be tagged as dangerous but these are rare and I honestly didn't look too deeply as to whether they have real bad stuff or not. 

Overall, I would recommend it to average users as an extra layer of defense. Worthwhile to mention that it is available both in Firefox and IE. If you choose to use it, remember to contribute back to the project back by helping to rate sites as you visit them. Time to introduce my parents to this add-on.

9 comment(s)


There are similar offerings from Mcafee and a few others. However one limitation (IMHO)is that none of them give me an option to enforce safety. I would like to give a password protected popup that does not allow a user to go to a potentially nasty site. This way it would be safer for use with kids/less savvy adults whose PCs we help look after.
The possible requirement to create a 'clean profile' to avoid random crashes makes WOT a non-starter for me and not even a hint of a chance for my parents.
Michael, you might want to check out K9 web protection (blue coat). Free for home use. Provides category blocking, white/black list, and allows for overrides via pw. Works well for my kids...and easy enough for, as you indicated, some "less savvy" users
Crashed during install, might be a co-incidence but hard disk lit up like an xmas tree and machine became totally unresponsive. Had to power-off and reload it. Not impressed.
Installed fine for me on 3 different machines.
Do remember that "good" simply means "according to Joe User's opinion of site owner's intent". It has no bearing on reality; site compromises, injections, xss, ad banner exploits, all of those realities still exist - so while "bad" means "avoid", remember that "good" does not equate to "trust"!
After ISC mentioned again (according to Google, 9 times in the last year and over 300 since inception,) I tried OpenDNS, when I put it on my Router. As part of their Dashboard feature, they use technology from St. Bernard software for filtering,
I have a custom setup mostly to keep *me* and my teens out of bad places. I have been most happy with OpenDNS.
BTW, WOT also has an IE add-in, and I use it when I must use IE7 (windows update and dumb ie centric sites). Would assume IE8 works with it also, but I have not been brave enough to go there yet.
I just tried out TrendProtect which is a free IE or Firefox plugin that color codes search results based on reputation. So far it seems to work in IE8 but if I mouse of over the recommendations for each search result, it helps to be using IE8 compatibility mode. Interestingly, it doesn't seem to do anything to Bing.

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