Are you a Web of Trust user?

  • Yes, I'll continue to use the add-on

    Votes: 4 4.6%
  • Yes, however after this I've uninstalled the add-on

    Votes: 33 37.9%
  • I was not a WOT user

    Votes: 50 57.5%
  • Total voters
    87

conceptualclarity

Level 20
Content Creator
Trusted
Verified
Any decent alternatives? Heard there's something called Traffic light or similar?
I like Webutation as an alternative. WOT annoyed me when I had it in my extension collection because it would block me from some perfectly legitimate websites. I don't deny it had any usefulness, but I came to regard WOT as a gossip site. Some of the criticism on it was just ignorant stuff from people who don't understand how the Internet functions. What really burns me is that many people used WOT for character assassination of entities with which they had political disagreements. In other words, it was a vehicle for serious attempts at censorship of opposing views. A website like it in my view should harshly punish rather than tolerate people who attempt to abuse it in this highly malignant fashion. So I celebrate the downfall of WOT.

WOT was a one of a kind extension and I have not found anything like it other than Webutation, but it doesn't work on FF at all and I read where some think it's abandonware!
I am sure the Webutation web page will work on Firefox. I can't vouch for the extension. I have used Webutation in recent weeks, and it didn't seem like abandonware.

BTW, I tested Avast, Dr. Web and Panda extensions and out of those Panda did the best. I am very disappointed in Avast's extension :(
Thanks for the information.

Among the alternatives, besides those already mentioned, there is the Lavasoft web companion, whose pro version is always on a giveaway somewhere.
 
Last edited:

jamescv7

Level 61
Trusted
Verified
Privacy and security are the two important aspect for any products who develop; where sooner people gain trust however the incident for WOT is definitely not tolerable.

I like WOT because of community ratings [aggressive], but having a siteadvisor from security company side is not a bad complement for system.

Logic example:

No matter if the person is smart, because its all about the personality and socialization to be count on.

That example shows how WOT is smart but on the way of showing to others is terrible or unpromising.
 

ttto

Level 8
Verified
I'm not a WOT user, but it's a shame to hear this news. For Firefox, that is the browser I use, most of the addons people mentioned above for Chrome I suppose are also avalible for Firefox. I have ony used in my computer Norton's Safe web, that works very well. Also tried in other computer McAfee's WebAdvisor, that is also fine. It's important to compare WOT with these services that security brands give to us, because WOT is based on community, and the others aren't.
 

Jack

Administrator
Staff member
Verified
So here is a response about all this mess from the WOT staff:
MyWOT Team said:
Dear users,

Thank you for your patience. We apologize for our delayed public reply and any anxiety this incident has caused. It has taken us some time to understand what has happened and how best to ensure we protect our users.

We take our obligations to you very seriously. While we deployed great effort to remove any data that could be used to identify individual users, it appears that in some cases such identification remained possible, albeit for what may be a very small number of WOT users.

Of course, if the data allows the identification of even a small number of WOT users, we consider that unacceptable, and will be taking immediate measures to address this matter urgently as part of a full security assessment and review.

Additionally, after Mozilla notified us that they were removing the WOT add-on from their store (pending responses to a set of questions / proposed changes they sent to us), we voluntarily removed the WOT add-on from all other platforms, including the Chrome store, in order to resolve this matter properly and comprehensively.

To that end, we are taking the following steps:

  • Reviewing our privacy policy to determine which changes need to be made in order to enhance and ensure that our users privacy rights are properly addressed.
  • For the user browsing data used to enable WOT’s website reputation service, we intend to provide users the ability to opt-out from having such data saved in our database or shared. This opt-out will be available from the settings menu, as we want to provide each user with a clear choice at all times.
  • For people who agree to let us use their browsing data in order to support WOT, we will implement a complete overhaul of our data ‘cleaning’ process, to optimize our data anonymization and aggregation objectives to minimize any risk of exposure for our users.
We will spend the coming weeks making the changes to WOT which will ensure we are back on the right track. You, our community of users are the real power behind WOT and we will continue serving you as such.
Source: To the WOT community | Forum | WOT (Web of Trust)
 
W

Wave

So here is a response about all this mess from the WOT staff:


Source: To the WOT community | Forum | WOT (Web of Trust)
The problem I have with their reply is that they talk about how they 'deployed great effort to remove any data that could be used to identify individual users' but they failed to do this properly, and what has happened should have never happened in the first place. If they did it properly this problem wouldn't have happened.

If they thought for one second that what they were doing was incorrect and could end up causing problems like what has happened then they should have never started selling data in the first place, and if they knew what they were doing with removing identifiable data and carried out their plans properly, then this would have never happened.

Imagine if Mozilla had never revoked the extension from their store, how long would have it taken for this problem to be identified? It could have been years, or maybe it would have never been identified... More and more users would have had their data sold on which can identify them.

Out of interest, did WOT ever actually specify to users that they were selling the browsing history in the first place (identifiable or not)?

Don't get me wrong, WOT (Web Of Trust) can be really useful in some situations and I'm sure it was all just an accident waiting to happen, but I don't personally buy their response or find what happened tolerable... It should have never happened IMO. :)
 

XhenEd

Level 27
Content Creator
Trusted
Verified
Sorry that I am confused when nobody else seems to be but I thought this was why we used Malwarebytes? I thought that was what it does, warns me of unsafe websites. Why are people looking for an alternative to WOT on THIS forum? There must be something obvious I am clueless about. An answer would be appreciated thanks.
I think you got it wrong. :D
Malwaretips is not a Malwarebytes forum. :D
 
W

Wave

Sorry that I am confused when nobody else seems to be but I thought this was why we used Malwarebytes? I thought that was what it does, warns me of unsafe websites. Why are people looking for an alternative to WOT on THIS forum? There must be something obvious I am clueless about. An answer would be appreciated thanks.
What do you mean?

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a product owned by Malwarebytes, it isn't the only product out there which will attempt to protect the user from unsafe websites. However, WOT (Web Of Trust) is a service to help guide the user on if the website being viewed/about to be viewed is safe or not based on the user reviews/reputation. In fact, you could use both WOT and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (paid - with the real-time web blocking) at the same time without any conflicts (although after this incident I would steer clear from WOT personally, but I just said this as an example).

If I misunderstood what you meant please let me know and re-explain :)
 

Fritz

Level 11
The problem I have with their reply is that they talk about how they 'deployed great effort to remove any data that could be used to identify individual users' but they failed to do this properly, and what has happened should have never happened in the first place. If they did it properly this problem wouldn't have happened.

If they thought for one second that what they were doing was incorrect and could end up causing problems like what has happened then they should have never started selling data in the first place, and if they knew what they were doing with removing identifiable data and carried out their plans properly, then this would have never happened.
This. Not enough, too late. What they wrote after an eternity is one thing, what really happened at WoT HQ is another:

WoT Guy A: "Holy [edited], they noticed—how we gonna keep making $$$?"
WoT Guy B: "Meh, write something they wanna hear and hide our [edited] better."

Out of interest, did WOT ever actually specify to users that they were selling the browsing history in the first place (identifiable or not)?
Nopes, not in the least. Hence they can optimize the hell out of their sweet algorithms for whatever it's worth, I won't be a part of it. Hope some extended unemployment will assist them in setting up a proper business next time around.
 
W

Wave

Nopes, not in the least.
In my books this is a big no and that tells me everything I need to know about them... It's one thing to collect data and sell it on to make profit even with permission, but it's another to do it behind the backs of your customers (whether it's legal or not doesn't come into question, it's about being ethical and loyal to your fan-base) and mess it up so they can be personally identified.

Even though I am not a current user of WOT, I feel violated to have recommended a product by a company like this before - even on this very forum I have recommended it before on the security configuration area (back in 2015 I think) and I am sure some people would have started to use it due to this recommendation, only to have had their data collected up and sold.

I am sure they had a late public response so they had enough time to craft it well so it looks genuine, but I am not buying their excuses. To me it seems like an attempt to social engineer people into believing that everything was done at their best interest when the chances are more in the favour of that not being the case...

This reminds me of Lenovo with Superfish and Comodo with PrivDog... Both completely ridiculous also.