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 isÂ headquarters areÂ in Helsenki,Â FinlandÂ on your favorite web browser. WOT stands for “Web of Trust.”MyWOT works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome.Â The plugin display a green circle on sites that are safe, and a yellow andÂ 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.Â 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.
UpdateÂ August 6th,Â 2010
myWOT can beÂ not as accurateÂ for smaller websites like mine http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/johnsonyip.comÂ since users can voteÂ smaller sitesÂ down Â if they don’t like or agree with your content or have different points of views from yours. But, if youÂ have a lot of positive points of views from readers with My wot your rating can go up.Â MyWOT works best for sites whichÂ have a large number of reviews from people of different backgrounds and beliefs who enjoy your websiteÂ since it will be less biased with more users. It will be harder to game the system if you are not very well likedÂ byÂ a fewÂ 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. Â 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.Â WOT can always find other ways to talk to members like with their blog, forumÂ or by making a FAQ page forÂ common concerns on the Firefox add-on page.Â Safe sites can get false ratings and commentsÂ 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 awayÂ 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 ofÂ 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 newerÂ 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,Â 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 ofÂ internet usersÂ don’t have MyWOT installed on their browserÂ 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.
MyWotÂ 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 ratingÂ 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 ratingsÂ 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.comÂ soon.
“Some” MyWOT user also seem to have a mob mentality where theyÂ go vote down people websites without researching ifÂ the websiteÂ 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 MyWOTÂ , but it is kind of inactive, and MyWOT should open up the blog to allow non-membersÂ to comment like this blog which allows anyone to comment asÂ long as it is not spamÂ or harassing.
I think it is best toÂ also go toÂ the “Better Buisness Bureau or otherÂ BuisnessÂ organization for reputable vendors, use Spybot- Search and Destroy web Â immunizations database, and SpywareblasterÂ Â website immunization databaseÂ software. Do independent research of the company via other social networks, forums, private investigator ifÂ you have the cash,Â websites,Â Mcafee site advisor database,Â news articles, and websites.
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 veryÂ little traffic get traffic from other MyWot members when it has a RedÂ rating for it. MoreÂ MyWot usersÂ might avoid red sitesÂ 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 techÂ and internet savvy are the people who rate other people’s websites? Would they rate down a website ifÂ theyÂ click on an Ad andÂ the advertiser site sent them spam whichÂ can’t be controlled by the webmaster since most ads these days are sent via an Ad provider like Adbrite, etc andÂ not picked by the website owner.
Also, according to Wikipedia : “MyWot collects information only for computing website ratings, performing statistical analysis, and preventing abuse ofÂ MyWOT service.”
ThisÂ is kind of un clear to some less tech savvyÂ 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 connectionÂ 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 whichÂ are not true which canÂ spread false rumorsÂ on smaller websites with fewer reviews and ratings on MyWOT.
For example, there areÂ a small percentage ofÂ bad comments on mywot.com/en/scorecard/youtube.comÂ 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/MywotÂ , but they seem to disabled commenting on videosÂ which is a shame since it won’t let people add anyÂ supporting orÂ Â constructiveÂ comments whichÂ show the opposing “Point of view” of their productsÂ 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 betterÂ like how I let anyÂ Youtuber comment on my channel and videos at youtube.com/johnsonyip1 .
I don’t really like howÂ you need to install the MyWOT add-on to review others sites. ManyÂ people dislike adding add-ons to web browsers since plug-ins can make a browser crash, slow down web browsing and computer experience. TheÂ only quickestÂ way to get a poor ratingÂ become green is to tell your readers to add positive ratings andÂ comments to your MyWOT profile like mine at http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/johnsonyip.comÂ , 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 rattingsÂ on MyWOT for your site scoreboard.
I also notice thereÂ can beÂ 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” forÂ member who ratedÂ 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 downÂ websites which opposeÂ MyWOTÂ or spread false comments which can hurt a buisness reputationÂ 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 theÂ MyWOTÂ Â users areÂ anonymous and hide behind nicknames, andÂ it can be unclearÂ 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.Â Does theÂ 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 contentÂ 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.comÂ also has a toolbar for finding out the reputation of websites.
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/Â reviews and their WIKI at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyWOT.comÂ and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:MyWOT.comÂ before you use MyWOT. Don’t just use it because someone you know is using it or some blogger said “It works great” sinceÂ some blog post on myWOT I came across just seem to be restating promotional literature from MyWot.com or from the MyWOTÂ add-on page on Firefox. I ran across some articles written by MyWOT’s marketing teamÂ 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 blogsÂ 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 contentÂ on a daily basis.
- Improve the user experience of your website.
- Promote your website better!
Google Search results for “Johnson Yip”Â with MyWOT installed on it.
MyWOT also lets user comments on websites, on how safe or unsafe they are when you click the MyWOT logo.