SiteAdvisor started out as a really good idea. Whenever you went to a site, the SiteAdvisor label would turn green (safe), yellow (shady) or red (dangerous) to indicate the safety of that site. But then McAfee got involved and bundled SiteAdvisor with a search bar, a resident Windows service and other common signs of bloatware. Fortunately, the Web of Trust (WOT) extension stepped up to fill the gap that SiteAdvisor left.
When installing Web of Trust for the first time, the extension asks you how it should behave. Depending on your needs, you can go with the full package (Basic), a less intrusive version (Light) or a child-safe version. The latter will first check whether or not the site your kid wants to navigate to is safe. If no ratings are available, the site will be blocked. Interestingly, an accessibility setting for color blind people is also available. After choosing which version you want to go with, WOT will prompt you to create an account with them to unlock the full potential of the extension.
How it works
After installing WOT, a color indicator will be placed in the navigation toolbar. Much like SiteAdvisor, a quick glance at this icon lets you know whether you’re safe or not. Additionally, you can click the indicator to reveal more information about the site. WOT keeps track of trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy and child safety. It is also possible to read user reviews by clicking ‘View scorecard for rating details’.
WOT also protects you when you’re searching with Google, Yahoo and Bing. Depending on your settings, you can choose to have WOT always display a rating next to every search result, only display the rating if it’s not green or not display ratings at all. Similarly, if you’re a Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo Mail user, WOT will display these icons in your incoming e-mails too.
Depending on how cautious you are, you might want to set up WOT like a passive advisor or rather like a mom who is always on your side to keep you out of bad neighborhoods. Either way, you can pull up the settings panel and configure the lowest permissible safety level for each category. Depending on your choice, WOT will either alert you or block you from visiting sites that do not meet your customized safety criteria.