Let’s face it, the internet is a wild, fun, remarkable and dangerous place. On one hand it is the most amazing tool ever created that can open doors for research and worlds that would never have been seen by billions of people. But like any tool, it can and is used for hostile reasons by evildoers everywhere. We have seen too many customers lately that have been infected by those nasty fake anti-viruses we are trying to help them keep it from happening again. The first step is to get an antivirus if you don’t already have one, or get rid of Norton or McAfee and get a good AV like Vipre. Keep reading below for step two.

We recently started examining a program called Web Of Trust (WOT for short). WOT is a web community program that “plugs into” your Internet browser. WOT installs into your Internet Explorer and/or Firefox and gives you guidance. It is kind of like a traffic light for cruising the information highway. Meaning when you google/yahoo/bing or whatever something, you get a little red, yellow or green light beside the links letting you know if you’re safe to cross the road or if you should run away.

WOT traffic lights

WOT traffic lights

These are google sponsored links and you’ll notice several of them are not exactly on the up and up

These “traffic lights” are based on a community of millions of other WOT users that have already rated these links on a 4 distinct qualifications. These four qualities are trustworthiness, reliability of the vendor, child safety and privacy. Trustworthiness includes if the site has been known to be hostile or infectious. WOT uses a very sophisticated algorithm and gets data from the users on each link rated. It then averages many user ratings to create the WOT rating you see. You can create a WOT account if you’d like to start rating sites if you’d like to help give back while surfing.

WOT blocked site

WOT blocked site

So you’re thinking, “there is no way WOT has a rating for every web page out there in the world.” Well of course you are right. If WOT has not created a rating for a site, it gets a grey light, so proceed with caution. And then you may want to rate the site yourself. In fact, if you google Computer Doctor of Richmond you will see a grey light. Meaning we have not been bestowed with a WOT rating. After you’ve installed WOT, we’d appreciate it if you’d give us a good rating (we’re safe, trustworthy, help keep your private data safe, and very reliable!).

WOT unrated site, The computer doctor of richmond

WOT unrated site, The computer doctor of richmond

Our site is currently unrated. Wont you help us get a rating?

After testing it on numerous computers in our office and having a handful of customers try it out, we are confident in our recommendation for all to use it. This is by no means a replacement for an antivirus or firewall. This is simply one more GREAT tool to put on your computer to help prevent infections before it even starts. Any tool that can “foreshadow” your risk before clicking on a link it worth putting on your computer, especially since it is free! WOT works very well with no adverse side affects or performance issues like some similar pay services or the ones that come with some anti-viruses.

So how do you get it? Go to their site at mywot.com and click on the free download button. Then simply go through the quick installation. This works on both Internet Explorer and Firefox (safari is in the works and chrome is just around the corner). It also works on both Mac and PC.

A few other things you can do to help keep yourself safe is make sure you popup blocker is turned on. If you use firefox, you can also install an additional plug in called adblock plus that will block 99.9% of annoying web based banner ads. This will help speed up your browsing and keep the garbage off your screen.

WOT rating of a trustworthy adult site

If you hover over a WOT light, you’ll see what it was rated the way it was. This is “safe” adult site.

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