A product that I have actually been looking to find for awhile now is some sort of service or tool that can quickly determine whether or not a Web site you are visiting contains hazardous elements. Sure, there is a lot of different security software out there that work together to stop threats from entering your system. However, none of these products can proactively warn you of the dangers of a particular Web site before it is fully loaded, allowing you to avoid the potential danger. Well, this little baby happened to pop up in one of my RSS feeds this morning and I thought to myself, “Finally, somebody else was thinking the same thing I was and they actually acted on it.” What am I talking about? Well, it’s a program called SiteAdvisor. This program warns Web surfers of sites that might contain more than what they’re expecting or wanting.
SiteAdvisor is an Internet browser plug-in that gives you a report of a Web site’s complete intentions that it generates from continuously growing databases. After a quick query of its database, SiteAdvisor displays a specified icon and color combination quickly letting the user know, before the site is opened, what they can expect.
SiteAdvisor is referring to itself as the program that tested the Web, and in a way, it did. The engineers at SiteAdvisor have created a unit of robot users to go through the entire Web testing Web sites and elements of Web sites. SiteAdvisor then takes all this data it has generated from this testing and puts it in its own database for people to view. For instance, here’s some of the things that SiteAdvisor tests for on the Web:
· Excessive popups
· Phishing practices
· Browser exploits
· Bundled software
· Other malware
Sign Up Forms:
· Tested sign up forms using one time only e-mail addresses, so if the address did receive spam, the source could easily be identified.
SiteAdvisor is free until future notice and it supports both Internet Explorer and Firefox, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t check it out. Put it in the trenches with the rest or your PC’s defensive software and see if it can pull its weight. You might be surprised.
Here are the links to the SiteAdvisor downloads:
Internet Explorer: http://www.siteadvisor.com/download/ie_preinstall.html
Until next week, stay safe out there,