Editors Blog

Murphy's Law: Tip No. 3 - Free Internet Security

April 20, 2009
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Keeping up to date with the latest software required to protect your computer can be a daunting task. One way to prevent bad stuff from glomming onto your computer is to avoid going to certain Internet sites in the first place.

How do you know which sites might be a little risky?

First, Google® “mywot” and watch what happens. Click on the first link that takes you directly to www.mywot.com, and read through the information there. You are at WOT®, the Web of Trust, according to the cyborgs at mywot.

WOT is a free Internet security add-on for your browser. As you can tell, I like Google, but WOT works with any browser. Click on the Free Download button and follow the instructions.

Now, go back to your browser and type in “mywot” again. Depending upon which version of WOT and your own operating system, you will see little colored donuts or starbursts. Green is good, orange is less so, and red is bad.

It is kind of like the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) signs in airports. Red is high alert - Danger, Will Robinson.

There are actually a few other neat things the donuts or starbursts will show you: Run your mouse over the donut and you will see several classifications such as Trustworthiness, Vendor reliability, Privacy, and Child Safety. You will immediately see how the site is rated, and before you ever click on the url link, you can make a more-informed decision as to whether the site is a safe one or not.
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