Saturday, March 26, 2011

A MUST READ!!!! Web of Trust - Are you protected? Must have add-on for any browser & Facebook! (Updated 6/17/12)

Lately, I have been focused on creating a Firefox Collection of Essential Add-Ons For Educators. Firefox add-ons can improve presentations and the seamless integration of technology within the classroom. You can get 5 to 15 minutes of increased teaching time when you employ the personalized toolbar and some excellent add-ons while presenting. And, you can make your work with the computer more efficient and, yes, pleasant!

While creating the list, I discovered the add-on Web-of-Trust (WOT). Further investigation led to the discovery that the Web of Trust is available for virtually any browser so if Firefox is not your browser of choice, you can still use it.  However, my response here is based on my experience using it with Firefox 4.  You can find the add-on by looking at my link below:  Firefox Essential Add-Ons For Educators.

A co-worker of mine and I challenged the Web-of-Trust add-on by putting it to the test. She had just been charged an outrageous fee per plane ticket at an online travel site. We first tested it with and found it did show them as "green" meaning they had an excellent rating in 4 areas: trustworthiness, vendor reliability, Privacy, and child safety.

We tested it also with the infamous Tree Octopus site (no longer available) and found it rated it appropriately:  a yellow colored wheel a warning about trustworthiness and vendor reliability. (By the way, if you don't know about the Tree Octopus site, you'll want to!)

We then tested it with the website she had used and instantly received a large warning that the site was not reliable.  In fact, the color wheel which indicates the rating changed colors to warn us, a banner came up across the screen, and a huge Warning sign popped up.  If only she had installed this add-on the week before.

Now, get this...not only does it tell you about the websites you are visiting but if you do a search, it shows the rating of each of the items in the results list to the side of the listing.

But, today, I found it went even further.  You see, it rated links on my Facebook wall!  With all the worries about Facebook, this would be an instant warning to NOT click that button!  And, I'm told it works on Twitter, as well.

When you set up WOT, you can also select your safety levels and one is Parental Control to ensure your children do not see anything inappropriate when they are browsing.

I am very pleased with this add-on and encourage you all to try it!  I know my co-worker sure wishes she had it previously.

Note:  You do need to register with a quick and easy registration form when adding it.

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