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Avoid visiting harmful site by using MyWOT on your favorite Internet browser

MyWOT add-on for Google Chrome

Ever visited a website or know of a friend who visited a website which installed a virus, spyware, or malware on your computer? The answer is most likely YES for most Internet users. Do you want to know if a site is safe before visiting it. Well, now you can by installing MyWOT which is headquarters are in Helsenki, Finland on your favorite web browser. WOT stands for “Web of Trust.”MyWOT works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome.  The plugin display a green circle on sites that are safe, and a yellow and  red circle for sites which are not as safe according to user reviews. MyWOT is like a social network where user rate websites by how safe they are. If you visit a site by typing it into the address Bar, the WOT logo changes color depending on how safe the site is. You no longer have to play Russian roulette when visiting popular websites which been review with MyWOT. What I like best about the design is it does not take up a lot of space on my Web Browser unlike some toolbars.

It can make Web surfing safer, but there also can be a lot of false positives for websites which have controversial topics like “cheap labor, outsourcing IT, gay rights, etc” or if the website attracts a large amount of people with MyWot which are very determined about making your site rating red and not enough supporters.

MyWot is similar to Wikipedia. Most of the big topics are updated and checked on a monthly basis, but the smaller topics like wikis about indie bands and movies can get vandalized or lots of false entries and no one notices it for a long time to change the Wiki.  However, MyWOT is similar to a toolbar without the built-in search bar. It also collects some of your browsing data and internet usage data like almost every toolbar.

Update August 6th, 2010

myWOT can be not as accurate for smaller websites like mine http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/johnsonyip.com since users can vote smaller sites down  if they don’t like or agree with your content or have different points of views from yours. But, if you have a lot of positive points of views from readers with My wot your rating can go up. MyWOT works best for sites which  have a large number of reviews from people of different backgrounds and beliefs who enjoy your website since it will be less biased with more users. It will be harder to game the system if you are not very well liked  by a few people, but have a lot of supporters. I’m not impress at how MyWot is handling its costumer service they just use their own web pages when replying to negative reviews instead of third party software testers like many other software vendors which show awards they won from download.com PCworld, and other web sites.  Plus, it is kind of odd that they are replying to almost every negative comment about WOT instead of letting bad reviews have their opinion without interruption. WOT can always find other ways to talk to members like with their blog, forum or by making a FAQ page for common concerns on the Firefox add-on page. Safe sites can get false ratings and comments by WOT members who use MyWOT for their own agenda like trying to censor the web by voting down “competitors websites and leaving bad remarks”, they can vote sites down and leave false comments which can drive away visitors using MyWOT, but if a website has a lot of fans/supporters then the rating will be more accurate then one which only has a few ratings and comments since fans and supporters can post comments and rate the site better then people with opposing points of views.

It is also easy to make multiple fake MyWOT accounts with a bunch of  e-mail accounts to comment more then once a website ratting card. MyWOT does not even ask for E-mail verification like many forums, blogs, social networks, and interactive websites, so anyone can make a bunch of fake MyWOT accounts to make their website look incredibly good with self-promotional comments by different user names or other competing sites can look incredibly bad with false statements made by the same people or group of people.

I think MyWOT does not really work for warning people of fraud, malware, and other activities on smaller or newer websites with almost no traffic and been up for less then a few hours, days, weeks, or however it longs for someone with a myWOT add-on to rate and comment the site down for posting malware, and fishy looking content. Freely hosted websites with good reputations get good reputations even if some members post hateful content, so it should not be used as a main way to prevent fraud, virus and malware infections on a computer. You should still rely on Computer Security software like anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware, firewall, sandbox programs, etc since MyWOT relies on user reviews on sites with little to no traffic which can take months, or years for an accurate rating of a site to warn people of malware since a large percentage of internet users don’t have MyWOT installed on their browser or are too lazy to rate the website and warn visitors of dangers of a certain website.

I can’t really recommend MyWOT since it seems to slow down Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer a little bit, but if you don’t mind the small performance decrease and want extra security MyWot can be for you. I use a slower computer, so any extra program or add-on or program running in the background slows it down a little bit.

MyWot only rates websites on a top level domain basis like example.com, but Wot can’t rate and comment website on a sub domain like sub domain.example.com or path level like example.com/path which makes WOT impossible to guest if the sub domain and path website is trustworthy or not, so WOT can’t stop you from visiting an unsafe or unethical subdomain or path type website, or your website can get punish by a poor rating  on your entire site if one of your customers posted adult content, malware, or other type of content you are not aware of which a member posted which can happen many times if you run a free web hosting company or social network.

The forum on MyWOT does not seem very helpful since it is kind of inactive when I visited it, but the WOT staff member kept telling people to go to MyWot Forum and ask for a review on MyWot Firefox add-on page for a rating. The forum idea for ratings be great if there are more active posters and members like Facebook which has many members who are active. I also requested comments for this website. I hope someone rates and comments positively on my mywot.com/en/scorecard/johnsonyip.com soon.

“Some” MyWOT user also seem to have a mob mentality where they go vote down people websites without researching if the website intentions are really is good or bad. I think if WOT lets non-add-on users be able to rate and comment on sites then there might be a larger pool of user opinion which can make MyWot rating more accurate.

I found using the forum and blog somewhat helpful on MyWOT , but it is kind of inactive, and MyWOT should open up the blog to allow non-members to comment like this blog which allows anyone to comment as long as it is not spam or harassing.

I think it is best to also go to the “Better Buisness Bureau or other  Buisness organization for reputable vendors, use Spybot- Search and Destroy web  immunizations database, and Spywareblaster  website immunization database software. Do independent research of the company via other social networks, forums, private investigator if you have the cash, websites, Mcafee site advisor database, news articles, and websites.

Also check other Free website database directories which allow people to rate their user experience with the website!
siteadvisor.com
websecurityguard.com
safeweb.norton.com
alexa.com

Plus, practice good Web surfing habits like keeping your antivirus, antispyware, antimalware, firewall, web browser, web browser plug-ins, and operating system up to date.

The intentions of MyWot are good, but the actions of a few disgruntled MyWOT users can make it harder for smaller sites with very little traffic get traffic from other MyWot members when it has a Red rating for it. More MyWot users might avoid red sites MyWOT says they have millions of users, but how many of them actively rate every single website they visited. I only rated one or two because I’m concerned about MyWot storing my rating behavior since I need to login to rate and install the MyWot button. Plus, what are the qualifications and how tech  and internet savvy are the people who rate other people’s websites? Would they rate down a website if they click on an Ad and the advertiser site sent them spam which can’t be controlled by the webmaster since most ads these days are sent via an Ad provider like Adbrite, etc and not picked by the website owner.

Also, according to Wikipedia : “MyWot collects information only for computing website ratings, performing statistical analysis, and preventing abuse of MyWOT service.”

Source:: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyWOT.com

This is kind of un clear to some less tech savvy users. It would be great if there was a way to opt-out of “collecting information”, but I notice most toolbars that collect data don’t have a opt-out option either. I guest if you use dial-up or slower connection this might slow down your internet connection  a little since you are sending your website ranking, analysis, and other statical information back to MyWOT’s server.

I’m concerned MyWOT can be used to censor the web if a certain group does not agree with a websites point of view. The commenters and reviewers can rate or leave bad comments which are not true which can spread false rumors on smaller websites with fewer reviews and ratings on MyWOT.

For example, there are a small percentage of bad comments on mywot.com/en/scorecard/youtube.com about Youtube.com which are not true, or are politically motivated like one commenter calling Youtube “Pure stupidity” which is from his “Point of view”, but Youtube is a great service which gives a channel for anyone with a video camera and a PC a way to share their knowledge with the internet.

MyWOT Youtube channel is www.youtube.com/user/Mywot , but they seem to disabled commenting on videos which is a shame since it won’t let people add any supporting or  constructive comments which show the opposing “Point of view” of their products on their video comments, or publicly ask question on MyWOT YouTube video. I think it is best to enable comments since users can comment on how myWOT can improve their videos on Youtube, or make their software better like how I let any Youtuber comment on my channel and videos at youtube.com/johnsonyip1 .

I don’t really like how you need to install the MyWOT add-on to review others sites. Many people dislike adding add-ons to web browsers since plug-ins can make a browser crash, slow down web browsing and computer experience. The only quickest way to get a poor rating become green is to tell your readers to add positive ratings and comments to your MyWOT profile like mine at http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/johnsonyip.com , but you need to install the add-on to review a site. Some people don’t like adding add-ons to their browsers since they look ugly, use computer resources like CPU, and memory resources, privacy concerns when it comes to tracking user activity, and it is a hassle. MyWOT should allow anonymous ratings and reviews on their website without the add-on. I think this is one of the ways WOT got so many downloads by webmasters telling their users to install WOT to give their site a positve ratting and comments. I guest if you make your website about technology, IT security, Electronics, video games, or a geeky and nerdy theme and your website contains mostly kid friendly content, or teen related content, and you promote it well via Facebook, Twitter, Guest blogging on more pupular sites, you are more likely to get more rattings  on MyWOT for your site scoreboard.

I also notice there can be an indirect incentive program which sort of reminds me of how people use Yahoo Answers for backlinks to their websites. In the WOT profile for forum members there is a link text box field which let people visit your personal website, and the more comments you post about websites on MyWOT the more possibilities for people to click on your username which lead them to your profile with your Homepage Link on it, and if the username is the name of your website or is associated with your website like the name of your forum screen name on your forum. You can get a decent amount of traffic from your MyWOT profile or searching up your username on Google, and finding your website. MyWOT can also improve a person’s website reputation in a the IT security field if you rated over 50,000 websites. Which is a lot cheaper then an advertising campaign on Adbrite, and other networks to advertise your anti-virus ads which can be very costly since “anti-virus, computer security, IT security, and Security keywords” are very competitive. MyWot members also get a nicer rank name like “Platinum member” for member who rated thousands of websites.

Plus, it is also possible that few people will want to speak up when they feel MyWOT ratings can be unfair, misguided, inaccurate, or MyWOT is a waste of time since it might cause other MyWOT users with mob mentalities to rate down websites which oppose MyWOT or spread false comments which can hurt a buisness reputation especially if the company is an IT, web design, or other type of tech related company since MyWot or its user base can unfairly rate a website up or down and no one can stop them since the MyWOT  users are anonymous and hide behind nicknames, and it can be unclear how MyWOT users rates some websites.

For example, “some very few” MyWOT users post comments like Sensationalists, bad source of information when explaining CNN.www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/cnn.com

I also wonder if MyWOT clears the reputation of old expired domain websites. Does the new owner running a totally different website also get the good or bad reputation. Old domains expire everyday, and new websites with new owners and content for old domains which get re-register get published everyday.

If you need a toolbar to see if a website is good or not, I recommend the AVG toolbar which comes with AVG 9. It works for Firefox and Internet Explorer. Plus, It is also can be less biased then some MyWOT reviews since it relies on antivirus technology rather then human interaction.

Which you can get at free.avg.com/ca-en/homepage

I also heard Mcafee SiteAdviser is pretty good.www.siteadvisor.com

Norton also has a browser add-on to warn you of dangerous sites safeweb.norton.com/lite

websecurityguard.com also has a toolbar for finding out the reputation of websites.

Comodo DNS  www.comodo.com/secure-dns/ , Google DNS code.google.com/speed/public-dns/, or Open DNS www.opendns.com/ can also help in seccuring your compurer as well.

You can also look up sites reputation info at siteadvisor.com/sites/websecurityguard.com,but you can’t rate, and comment websites on MyWOT without the MyWOT add-on.

My Advice: Use it if you want to, but make sure you know what MyWOT is all about by reading both “positive and negative reviews” on it at addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3456/ reviews and their WIKI at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyWOT.com and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:MyWOT.com before you use MyWOT. Don’t just use it because someone you know is using it or some blogger said “It works great” since some blog post on myWOT I came across just seem to be restating promotional literature from MyWot.com or from the MyWOT add-on page on Firefox. I ran across some articles written by MyWOT’s marketing team on Youtube and Squidoo which can be less helpful then a review by a third-party website like pcworld, or user opinion.

Educate yourself about MyWOT first from different points of views not just MyWOT.com and a few blogs before installing it like all software you install on your PC.

My Tips for improving your website reputation on MyWOT and the internet.

  • Make sure you don’t post content which is offensive
  • Promote your website more, so it is more well known by more people.
  • Improve the navigation and template of your website to make it more inviting.
  • Make sure your content is high quality and helpful
  • Tell your readers, friends, family, and online friends to rate your website.
  • Update your website content on a daily basis.
  • Have a privacy policy
  • Improve the user experience of your website.
  • Promote your website better!

Google Search results for “Johnson Yip” with MyWOT installed on it.

Wot results on google

MyWOT also lets user comments on websites, on how safe or unsafe they are when you click the MyWOT logo.

Review MyWOT for my Blogger
7 comments… add one
  • mywot lies June 18, 2011, 5:44 pm

    You hit many of the points I discovered for myself. You can read more about my interaction with myWOT here:
    http://johnsonyip.com/wordpress/2010/01/23/avoid-visiting-harmful-site-my-using-mywot-on-your-favourite-internet-browser/

    All in all, the WOT addons/extensions are pretty useless at his point because they are just to easy to game/spam and it’s clear that many WOT users are doing just that–they are using the tool to push their own agenda and censor the web for other WOT users.

    The worst is the mywot.com does NOTHING to stop this abuse.

  • Johnson Yip June 19, 2011, 2:33 pm

    I agree with you myWOT Lies, Some member named Cookie_Monster on myWOT categorized my website as spam, and a trashy site on http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/johnsonyip.com even though I never spammed or posted trashy content. . I filed a complaint, on the page I link to, but the staff do nothing not even a simple reply.

    I also don’t understand why I’m rated Yellow for child safety since “What is so unsafe about a computer help site?”. I’m also ranked yellow for Vendor privacy and reliability which is strange since I don’t even share info with 3rd parties.

  • Mikhail June 28, 2011, 10:55 pm

    Same happened to me. Our competitors voted against us and after I tried to argue in their forum the rating started to decrease faster. Anonymous rate my website and are complaining that I didn’t provide my physical address on contact us page. This situation is crazy myWOT is a scam itself.

  • Johnson Yip June 29, 2011, 12:25 am

    Sorry to hear that your competitor rated you down, Mikhail. I don’t get why people would complain for not having a physical address since a lot of website owners work from home, and might not want their personal info exposed which can be unsafe due to ID theft and stalkers. It seems with MyWot websites are guilty until proven innocent by the MyWoT crowd otherwise there is a good chance of being voted red or yellow by the myWot Crowd. I read it is very hard to defend your reputation on the Mywot Forum and with MyWot staff according to the many Firefox user reviews I read about the MyWot add-on.

  • Lewis June 19, 2012, 10:22 am

    Lot of frustrated people out there who don’t know what to do with all the bad rating mywot gives them. Here are some who are trying to do some about it – http://mywot-reviews.info/

  • Johnson Yip June 20, 2012, 5:21 pm

    It is sad how many people’s sites reputation got tarnished by online reputation websites which allows anonymous ratings by non-members, or where a bunch of people can make multiple accounts to rate. I think the Better Buisness Bureau, and real consumer protection agencies are more reliable because they most likely investigate if the claim is true before making a rating.

    Thanks for sharing the website on myWot.

  • a June 29, 2014, 5:43 am

    Wow! At last I got a web site from where I can really obtain helpful data concerning my study and knowledge.

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