Protecting the browser: Web of Trust

This article is several years old and might be outdated. It is still available as part of the archive and for historic purposes. Please consider this when using anything from this article.

Important Note

This is an older blog post and we no longer advise using Web of Trust. See pcmag for more details.

Protecting the web browser

Usually we focus on the blog on the server side of things, helping to protect the data of users, customers and ourselves. What we commonly overlook is the end of the connection, the web browser of the user. In the upcoming posts we will look at alternative measures we can take, to protect data there as well.

Malware, spam, scam?

As we all know, the web is full of good things. But unfortunately it happens also to be a breeding ground for harmful software, scams and unwanted messages. To counter this, there is a project called Web of Trust (WOT). It uses the social part of people to share insights whenever a site is good or bad. In other words, it leverages trust people express in a website.

How it works

When visiting a website, the WOT plugin will check the status of a website. If enough people marked it as being a bad website, the plugin will interrupt you and ask what you want to do. This way malicious websites are intercepted quickly, before being able to do any harm to your browser.

As you can see in the example above, search results can be labeled as well. This way you know to avoid a website, before even clicking the link.

Linux support

Web of Trust is available as a plugin for most browsers, including Firefox and Chrome for Linux. This makes it an interesting addition to your own browser if you use Linux. However, since it affects web browsers, it can also be used on the systems of your family members.

Interesting is the how data is also shared with privacy aware search engines like DuckDuckGo. If you care about your privacy and want to remain as safe as possible on the web, this is definitely a powerful combination.

Download WOT

Web of Trust can be downloaded freely from their website, or via the add-ons of your browser.

Important note: see the note on top.

Feedback

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This article has been written by our Linux security expert Michael Boelen. With focus on creating high-quality articles and relevant examples, he wants to improve the field of Linux security. No more web full of copy-pasted blog posts.

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