It’s a wild internet out there. We’ve all heard about dodgy and unsafe websites and the problems that can happen when you visit the wrong one. Both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have Google Safe Browsing technology built into them. The list is constantly updated with reports of sites that would do malicious things to you. There’s some exceptional reading about the topic and how it works in Firefox in the document “How does built-in Phishing and Malware Protection work?” Google’s explanation about the same topic is also great reading “Making the web safer“. Where does it come from? Mouse over this interactive map.
But, as they say, even paranoids have enemies.
In addition to relying on this feature, I have the Web of Trust add-on running in my browsers. It’s a simple traffic light approach that analyses the links on your current page and provides a visual that provides some advice should you elect to visit the link. Even though a site might be technically “safe” according to the safe browsing rules, I like the categories of “trustworthiness” and “child safety” that are provided.
It’s somehow comforting to see a list of green lights letting you know how the site is rated and community rated before you visit it. If a link goes to the same domain that you’re currently in, it’s not rated.
What do you do if you’re on a computing device that doesn’t allow you to install addons? i.e. tablet, school/business computer that are locked down, someone else’s computer?
Before you click or tap on a link to that suspect site, you might want to check it out on Norton’s Safe Web site. It’s an additional step, to be sure, but could save you some grief. I decided to put it to the test with the worst purveyor of thoughts that I visit daily – dougpete.wordpress.com.
Don’t you feel better knowing that you’re visiting a site that’s OK?
I would have preferred “outstanding”, “insightful”, “brilliant”, “extraordinary”, but hey.
When these are your choices, I’ll take OK all day long.