“WOT” to trust; “WOT” not to trust!

Knowing what to trust OR what not to trust when searching for and visiting web sites can be a very difficult task. The risks are innumerable (i.e. adware, browser exploits, fraud, malware, phlishing, spam, spyware, etc.); but there is a solution that will help keep you safe online and it is called “WOT“. WOT is an acronym for “Web of Trust“. WOT is a FREE downloadable browser add-on for Internet Explorer and Firefox that will warn you when you are about to interact with a risky web site. It helps you make an educated decision about a web site’s reputation and whether you should interact with the site or not. WOT is based on a rating system where the ratings are a compilation of reviews, from trusted sources and from everyday users like us, to assess the reputation of web sites. WOT uses four categories which it bases the ratings: Trustworthiness, Vendor Reliability, Privacy and Child Safety.

At the time of this posting, WOT had accumulated ratings for over 20.6 million web sites. You can freely download “WOT without registering; however by registering with WOT, you are given access to advanced features of the system, such as customizing protection levels and blocking access to dangerous web sites.

Before explaining to you how WOT works, it is important to stress that WOT is only one layer of protection and should also be used to complement other security practices and layers (i.e. firewall turned “on; anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-malware applications are installed and routinely updated; Windows updates are maintained; moral browsing habits, etc.).  

My personal opinion of WOT: “surfing without it is like playing Russian Roulette in your web browser”.

WOT - Web of Trust


[CLICK HERE] for online demo

I deliberately performed a search for “wallpaper” using the Google search engine. To educate my readers, “screensaver” and “wallpaper” sites are notorious for rogue downloads that can contain spyware, trojan viruses and malware. Reflected below you can see a sample of the search results. Next to the results you will see the color coded ratings and you will notice that I deliberately placed my mouse pointer over one of the “red” symbols at which a dialogue box appeared giving me a good idea that the site I was about to visit was in the “red” in all categories.





Should you visit a potentially risky web site, WOT will cause the browser window to darken and a warning will appear. It is at this point is where you make the educated decision to proceed to the site, whitelist the site or acquire additional details.





4 thoughts on ““WOT” to trust; “WOT” not to trust!

Add yours

  1. What a great title!

    I have written several articles on phishing (and other Internet dangers), and I keep coming back to the WOT toolbar. It is my humble opinion that it is a “must have” (certainly for Windows users).

    I have installed it on all my family’s machines, and I recommend it to all my clients. I particularly like the way it integrates into Gmail, and I look forward to further integration in coming releases.
    Clean. Light-weight. Simple to understand. Can prevent a nasty infection.

    Wish I’d thought of that title first…


  2. Hey Rick,

    I have waited with some anticipation for this article, and let me say, “It was worth the wait!” Wonderfully well done.

    WOT is everything you say it is and should be a add-on requirement before anyone is permitted to surf the Internet. As TechPaul says, WOT’s integration into Gmail makes it a particularly valuable add- on for those of us who use this service.

    Thanks for a great article.



  3. Dear Rick,
    Thank you for recommending WOT to your readers. Your article is well written, including some details that are often missed, and as TechPaul mentioned, the title is great!

    Working together, we can all help make the Internet a safer place, and you have certainly done your part. Thanks again from all of us here at WOT.

    Safe surfing,
    Web of Trust


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