OK, you are using your favorite search engine to do a search for that one thing you always wanted to learn about or purchase, you get your 10 search results on the first page of Google and now which one do you choose? Well normally you would read the title and description of the search result and click on the one that you believe that best suits your needs, in other words the owners of the site wrote a compelling page TITLE and had a great Meta Description and they “sold” the click to you. But STOP!!!
How do you know the site you are about to land on by clicking that search results page (or any link on the internet) is a safe site? The site you are about to land on could be loaded with spyware, adware, malware and or viruses. Sure you have the latest anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware software on your PC (use the Mac is still a PC – personal computer) but why put a stress test on it, first line of defense would be to just remain clear of these types of sites.
Well there is good news for the Firefox web browser users (Don’t have Firefox? Well get it here at www.GetFirefox.com). One of the neat things about Firefox is you can add-on’s for Firefox (you can do the same with the Google Chrome web browser), at last count there are over 13,000, (13,238 to be exact and growing) add-on’s for the Firefox browser.
There are two add-on’s for the Firefox web browser that will help to make you site surfing a little safer.
1) WOT – Safe Browsing Tool -This is a excellent tool to get a idea of what kind of site your will be landing on, you will get a warning if a site has been reported unsafe, as shown in the screen shot below (The WOT icons are shown as circles of Green, Yellow or Red). However the draw back to using WOT is its an opinion of the WOT community, could not be truly factual based, if enough users report your site as having a problem and it really does not have any issues, your site could be unjustly listed as a bad site. WOT add-on for Firefox has been downloaded almost 12,000,000 times (that’s 12 Million) I would recommend any web site owner (especially if your site is a business site) check their status of their site with WOT, if you wish to make a quick check of your web site you can go to www.mywot.com and they have a reputation check tool to check your web sites reputation.
2) To counter some of the drawbacks to WOT, I personally use the McAfee SiteAdvisor in conjunction with WOT. This way I get a true indication if a site has issues, or is just being targeted because others don’t like it. The rating icons are similar to WOT giving you a Green Icon for Safe, a Yellow Icon for Caution and a Red icon for Warning Serious Risks. There is also a Gray icon that lets you know that lets you know the site is Unknown and hasn’t been rated yet.
Below is how the rating systems will show up in Firefox when BOTH WOT and McAfee SiteAdvisor is being used.
If you are a site owner, it would be to your advantage to make sure your reputation on the internet is keep clean and start with downloading the Firefox web browser, if you haven’t done so already. And then adding the above two add-ons to keep ahead of the ongoing status of your own web site reputation. If you own an ecommerce store you need to do this “yesterday” the last thing the owner of an ecommerce store needs when he or she is trying to establish a trust with their potential customers is to have a reputation show up for their web site. And worse yet not even know it.
Remember as a site owner to stay proactive, work hard to develop to trust with the visitors to your site.