About Us

Web of Trust (WOT) – Crowdsourced web safety

What is Web of Trust ?

Web of Trust (WOT) is a website reputation and review service that helps people make informed decisions about whether to trust a website or not. WOT is based on a unique crowdsourcing approach that collects ratings and reviews from a global community of millions of users who rate and comment on websites based on their personal experiences.

The community-powered approach enables WOT to protect you against threats that only the human eye can spot such as scams, unreliable web stores and questionable content. It complements traditional security solutions that protect computers against technical threats such as viruses and other harmful software. WOT is based on a patented system where user behavior is systematically analyzed and monitored to ensure the ratings are reliable, accurate and constantly updated. In addition, the ratings are validated with trusted third party information, such as blacklists of phishing sites.

How Does WOT Work?

On the surface, WOT works in a very simply way - it shows website reputations as traffic lights next to search results when using Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines. They are also visible next to links in social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and email like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail as well as other popular sites like Wikipedia. By clicking the traffic light icons you can find out more information about a website’s reputation and other users’ opinions. A green traffic light means users have rated the site as trusted and reliable, red warns about potential threats and yellow indicates that you need to be cautious when using a site.

For example, online shoppers who explore new sites may be concerned about which ones can be trusted in terms of quality of products and customer service. By using WOT they can check potential issues of unknown sites, read other people’s reviews and compare the reputation of different sites. We all want to explore the Internet safely and WOT helps you to do this with unknown and less popular sites.

Additionally, WOT reads your browser’s URL and provides trustworthiness ratings on the web-page level. For example, individual Twitter accounts and blogs that may have dubious content or links to different sites, some of which are malicious in nature. WOT also works to understand which referring sites drive users to phishing / fraudulent sites, and how to prevent this from happening in the first place. For example, we do this in part by identifying ad networks involved in malware distribution and search terms that lead to malicious links. This browsing data is collected by WOT, as described in our privacy policy and allows WOT to predict new dangerous websites even before any user rates them.

We are developing the technology to estimate link trustworthiness on new sites before any users ratings exist - this is our solution to save users from new phishing/malware sites as they go live. Utilizing our patented, cutting-edge technology, we are able to achieve our mission of protecting users while they browse on any site, in real-time.

WOT was founded by Sami Tolvanen and Timo Ala-Kleemola when they were post-graduate students at the Tampere University of Technology in 2006. They wanted to create a system where people could share their real-life experiences of different websites, so that other users could benefit and find sites they can trust.

Today, WOT is the world’s leading crowdsourced website reputation service with over 140 million downloads worldwide and collaborates with the world’s leading Internet companies such as Facebook and the Mail.Ru Group.

It only takes a few seconds to add WOT to your browser and rate a website to protect yourself and all other WOT users from online threats that anti-virus software can’t spot. Together we can make the Internet a safer place for everyone.

To find out more about the technicalities of how WOT works and how to use it, take a tour and check out our frequently asked questions. Welcome to the WOT community!