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Current news about WOT, the world's leading community-based, free safe surfing tool.

Cybercriminals playing nasty Halloween tricks

jack olanternPandaLabs is reporting an increase in poisoned search terms related to Halloween costumes, related food recipes, haunted house directions, Halloween parties and the movie Halloween. The links lead to fake anti-virus software.

Other security experts are warning users to be wary of unsolicited email messages in the days leading up to Halloween. Typical scams include online greetings cards, or links to holiday sites such as the 'dancing skeleton' attack. The messages often contain a Trojan attachment or a link to a malicious page disguised as a greetings card or video file.

Please rate Halloween-related sites so all WOT users will know whether they are trustworthy or not. And have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Enter the Community Trust contest to win 3 free months membership

CTN Trusted badgeThe Community Trust contest

You already have a great reputation with WOT users. What if there was a way to show all your visitors, not only WOT users, that your site is trusted, so they would be confident to do business with you? Whether you want visitors to make a purchase, download something, or sign up for your newsletter, the Community Trust Network can help.

What you will win

Ten website owners will receive 3 free months membership in the new WOT Community Trust Network. For 3 months, we give you the tools to

  • show visitors that your site is trusted
  • give your customers the ability to rate and review your site
  • keep track of your online reputation

How to Enter

  1. Write a paragraph answering this question: As a site owner, what is your biggest challenge to get people to register, to complete a purchase, or to participate on your site?
  2. Post the paragraph on your blog or Facebook page with a link back to this blog posting, and/or post your paragraph in the comments section below.
  3. Email us the paragraph by Wednesday, October 28, 2009 to make sure you are entered in the contest.

Who is eligible?

The Community Trust contest is open to website owners who want to use their excellent or good reputation ratings to:

  • boost sales
  • increase consumer confidence
  • convert visitors into customers
  • gather valuable feedback
  • improve customer service and satisfaction

Contest Rules:

The WOT team will select the best 10 entries on Wednesday, October 28, 2009. You must have an excellent or good WOT rating, and you must comply with all three steps above to be eligible to win. The winners will be notified via email by Monday, November 2, and be willing to be included in WOT marketing materials (website, Inside MyWOT newsletter, Twitter, etc.)

Why are we doing this?

There are many small and medium-sized websites that could use help differentiating themselves from their competitors. We have created The Community Trust Network as a way for you to emphasize your excellent reputation and build a positive relationship with customers. The 3 months CTN membership we are giving away will be in exchange for the feedback we hope to get.

WOT Source Code on the Wiki

The source code for the WOT add-ons is now available for download on the WOT wiki. Get the WOT source code here.

October Inside MyWOT newsletter

After a dreamy summer with long lazy days and sunny picnics, we are back at WOT HQ working full-steam ahead. It was fun to put together the October Inside MyWOT because we have much to share.

Our primary task is preparing the Community Trust Network for launch next month. But other exciting things are happening too - we are honored to be nominated for a prestigious award; we are getting some local press attention; developers are happy with our new API; and our add-on for Google Chrome made the news in several places.

Please take a few minutes to browse through the newsletter.

Read Inside MyWOT (PDF format)

Free trial of Panda Security Global Protection 2010

Global Protection

WOT users are invited to try out Global Protection 2010 free for one month!

Global Protection 2010 is Panda Security's most complete security solution. It includes improved detection and protection technologies and a new engine with 80 percent less memory consumption to ensure that users have the best protection in the most resource-friendly solution.

Too many people neglect backing up important files, but Global Protection makes it easy by providing 5GB free space online for your files. If your files are accidentally lost or damaged, you can easily restore them.

Download one month free trial of Global Protection 2010 now!

Global Protection is part of the new ultra-light 2010 consumer solutions from Panda Security which also include Panda Antivirus Pro 2010 or Panda Internet Security 2010 suite. If you decide to purchase the solution after your trial, WOT gratefully receives a part of the proceeds.

WOT prepares the Community Trust Network for November launch

CTN shieldWOT members have rated millions of websites based on their knowledge and experiences. Site owners increasingly recognize the important contributions of our active and passionate community and the benefits they can derive from an excellent reputation.

To help site owners use their reputation to the best advantage, WOT is introducing the Community Trust Network this November.

Trust is at the heart of every transaction

For e-commerce sites, maintaining a good reputation is critical to their business success. It increases consumer confidence and helps them attract new customers. The Community Trust Network (CTN) is for websites that have earned an excellent or good rating from the WOT community. We provide site owners with tools to share WOT’s rating information with visitors and to collect feedback and ratings within a fair, unbiased, easy-to-use system that will attract new customers to their site.

What's in it for WOT?

We hope we can earn some income. WOT Services is a real company, but we have been dependent on our investors. We have employees, electric bills, server fees, and we occasionally need paper for our printer, so we hope the CTN will generate some income for us to stand on our own feet, while benefiting site owners.

Our community's support is vitally important to us. You are the most important asset we have, and our first priority is keeping the trust that we have established with you intact. We strive to be transparent in our business plans and keep you informed. Our goal of helping people stay safe on the Web remains the same. Please stand behind us as we launch the CTN. As always, thank you for your important work.

WOT is a SIME Rising Star of the North

SIME awards nominee

WOT is a nominee for the 2009 SIME award

SIME is Northern Europe’s largest conference about the Internet and digital opportunities. In the run up to the November conference, the SIME awards jury screened hundreds of companies in the Nordic countries looking for the hottest rising stars. They started with a top level of more than 150 Internet and digital media companies, and for weeks they have been thinning the list. They have now chosen a diverse group of innovative companies for The Mighty 36.

Today the third round of contenders was announced, and WOT was among them! We are thrilled to have gotten this far, and to be listed with such luminaries as Spotify and Muxlim. The next step for the jurists is to select the three companies that have been most important to the development of interactive media in the Nordics 2009.

Dare we dream that WOT could be among them?! Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Open API for WOT

The day many have been waiting for has arrived - WOT is proud to announce that we now have an open API. Developers can get started by visiting the WOT API page on the WOT wiki. Make sure you carefully read the API Terms of Service.

We look forward to the amazing new things you build for the millions of people in the WOT community. Please share your comments and feedback here.

Give back to WOT with your contribution

PiggybankMembers of the WOT community have long been concerned about our livelihood and have occasionally given us suggestions for raising money from the community. Ideas like selling t-shirts and keyrings, advertisements on mywot.com, or collecting donations have been discussed. We considered some of them, but were hesitant to implement any plans.

But recently Mozilla came up with a plan for accepting contributions, so we thought we would give it a try. Mozilla is known for it's mission of promoting choice and innovation on the Internet. With their pilot contribution plan, they are helping to "support a growing ecosystem by providing our users with the opportunity to support their favorite add-on developers." Sounds good to us.

If you would like to help support the future of WOT, then please make your contribution on WOT's Firefox page. The suggested amount is US $10, but we appreciate any amount!

Thank you!

WOT for Google Chrome Web browser

Google Chrome Good news for all you early adopters: You can jump ahead of everyone else and try the first release of the WOT add-on for Google Chrome. This one is for the geeky among us, so if you're game, all you need is a current development version of Chrome and the WOT add-on.

WOT icon in Chrome One small difference is where the icon is located. You'll find it in the lower left corner. The rating window opens a bit differently too, but you'll see it. Notice also that the add-on is released under the GNU GPL, so patches are most welcome.

We invite any feedback or suggestions you may have. Enjoy!

WOT Surf Canyon search refinements group expanded

WOT search refinements

Last month we announced that a small group of users would pilot test a new search refinement feature powered by Surf Canyon. This feature has been a success, so we will gradually expand the group so eventually all WOT users will benefit from "WOT Safe Search" refinements when they do a Google search.

When you click on a refinement in Google search results, WOT earns a small amount of revenue. If you would rather not see the search refinement links, you can turn it off by clicking the [x] next to the refinements.

What is Surf Canyon?

SurfcanyonSurf Canyon is a search engine assistant that digs up the most relevant information from your search queries, sometimes from deep within the search results (when is the last time you visited page 83?) Once you install the add-on, the search engine results page becomes dynamic and personalized to you. For example, when you click a result, Surf Canyon re-ranks it based on your choices and buries what you don't need.

See our previous blog posting for more information.

Fighting Phishers with WOT

GmailEarly this week, nearly 10,000 passwords were stolen and posted online by cybercriminals who created a fake Hotmail website identical to the real thing. This phishing scam tricked users into entering their email address and password. Twenty-four hours later a similar list of thousands of Google Gmail, AOL, Yahoo Mail, Comcast and Earthlink accounts were online as well.

How to protect your email account

  1. Install WOT WOT protects the top three Internet-based email services - Google Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail. WOT checks links embedded in email and warns you of dangerous websites helping you avoid spyware, spam, phishing, identity theft and other Internet fraud, before you risk clicking. Download WOT now.
  2. Check the URL before you login
  3. Change your password often It's suggested by experts to change your password at least every 90 days.
  4. Make your passwords stronger Use a combination of letters, numerals and symbols. WOT users share good suggestions how to do this on a poll about passwords.
  5. Use different passwords for social networking sites Cybercrooks can gain access to your accounts with the email address because so many people use the same login credentials. Mix it up.




WOT has a Colorblind version

The current issue of the journal Nature, reports that scientists have used gene therapy to achieve full color vision in two naturally colorblind male squirrel monkeys. The results bode well for people with colorblindness and may even be used to treat a range of vision problems, not just colorblindness.

Until that time, colorblind people can surf the Web safely with WOT's colorblind accessible version.

WOT for colorblind

The traffic light colors of our add-on are difficult for most colorblind people to discern so the color schemes of the rating icons and the symbol language are designed to meet the needs of the colorblind. When you register with WOT, be sure to enable the colorblind accessible version. You can also choose it, by going to the Advanced Settings in the add-on.

Please share this innovation with your friends! Download WOT now!

Watch our video which explains more.

Cyber Security Awareness Month in October

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is the month we set aside to celebrate all things spooky. Unfortunately scary Internet goblins, malicious ghosts and inbox gremlins haunt us year 'round. Which is why the good folks at the Department of Homeland Security in the USA and Public Safety Canada have devoted this month to National Cyber Security Awareness. This year's theme is "Our Shared Responsibility," and the goal is to increase awareness about Internet security issues and to help computer users take steps to protect their bit of cyberspace and stay safe online (no garlic, crucifixes or silver bullets required.)

WOT plays an important part in this type of mission. Our large community of users holds back the cyberspooks while making valuable contributions to Internet safety by rating sites for overall trustworthiness, privacy protection, suitable content for children and the reliability of online shops. Anyone with WOT can see at a glance if a site is risky to visit or do business with, so they can avoid potential security issues. Everyone can benefit from using WOT.

No tricks, only treats

It's a challenge to get people to take responsibility for their own cybersecurity. So it's up to those of us who are aware of the truly scary damage that can be done to help them out. Take some time this month to do a few things (add a piece of candy when you're doing it, and it really becomes a treat!)

First, get your own house in order

  1. Make sure you have anti-virus software and firewalls installed, properly configured, and up-to-date (take a look at Panda's trial offers for WOT users if you don't have AV)
  2. Update your operating system and critical program software
  3. Back up your important files

Then, help someone else

  1. Share your knowledge about Internet safety and security with a friend or family member
  2. If you have a website or blog, copy this blog (add a link back please) or write you own
  3. Use forums, newsletters, e-mail alerts, etc, at your school or business to increase awareness on issues like updating software, protecting personal information, and surfing safely
  4. Install WOT for them and give them a quick tutorial 

Let us know in the comments section below what you are doing for National Cyber Security Awareness month.