How To detect Scam Sites Using “WOT”

Anybody who is living online is always threatened to hear some words such as spam, phishing, malware, spyware, browser exploits, internet frauds etc.  Even an expert can’t identify these sorts of threats at the first site and treating them after being affected, is not an ideal solution as well. Here comes WOT – Web Of Trust, a free service which shall be available as a browser add on.

How does WOT work is so simple.  For each website, WOT gives five different ratings such as Excellent, Good, Unsatisfactory, Poor & Very Poor based on four criteria such as Trustworthiness, Vendor Reliability, Privacy & Child Safety. If a website is having a score of above 80% in each category, the site shall be rated as excellent and shall be denoted with the dark green color of the WOT icon. On the other hand, if the score is below 20%, then the site shall be marked as very poor and shall be having a red color for the WOT icon. Such sites shall automatically be blocked by this plugin [under normal settings]


Are those millions or billions of websites can be rated with this application? As expected, it is almost impossible. Not all websites are rated but the most commonly used ones and the sites having higher page ranks in search engines are rated. And to be mentioned, the number of websites in WOT directory is being increased each moment.

How these ratings are given and by whom? The trustworthiness of an application shall be questioned if it is not based on some strong and trusted facts. The ratings in WOT come in two ways. Ratings come primarily from the WOT community, but they also use data from trusted sources such as Panda Security. TRUSTe, PhishTank and hpHosts.

From my personal experience [of 3 months], I found WOT giving 90% accurate results. The main problem found is about the ratings of “Money Making” websites. Here in this case, what happens mainly is that, those who tried to make some bucks with a website and failed in their attempts will give a very poor rating to the site, regardless of the content and service given by the website. This in fact, will affect the reputation of the website and WOT as well.

So, if you notice any inaccuracies, please rate them yourself, ask your friends to rate them, and perhaps let others know by posting on WOT forum. They [WOT Team] want to have reliable, accurate ratings with the help of trusted webmasters and users. WOT becomes more effective when more people like you, are rating sites.

The application can be downloaded from the website and is free to be used. Mozilla Firefox brings this plugin as an add on with the newest versions of their browser. Give it a try and if you find it useful, make it a habit. Above all, it’s up to you to decide.

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