Change in recommendation

February 16, 2010

We here at Cyber Tek Computer Pros are always evaluating security software so that we can recommend the best protection to help prevent your computer from becoming infected. To that end, we are changing one of our recommendations.

Infections usually get onto your computer either from websites or from email. When you are using a search engine like Google or Yahoo, you are very likely to visit websites you have never been to before. How do you know if these websites are safe?

A fairly new type of security software integrates into your web browser and shows ratings of website as to whether or not they are safe to visit. And it can prevent you from going to an infected website. Surprisingly few security suites provide this type of functionality. The only ones we have found that include this are AVG and McAfee.

AVG’s version is called LinkScanner. It’s good, but not great. McAfee’s version is called SiteAdvisor. In our experience, SiteAdvisor does a better job than LinkScanner. However, we don’t recommend any other McAfee products, so don’t go out and get McAfee Internet Security. The good news is that there is a free version of SiteAdvisor that anyone can download and install.

In the past we have recommended SiteAdvisor as a free addition to make your computer more secure. But now we have found a product that we like even more. It’s called Web of Trust (WOT). There are two main reasons we like WOT better than SiteAdvisor. The most important reason is that it’s ratings seem to be better. Because of that, it seems to do a better job of keeping you from accidentally going to a website that might infect your computer. The second reason we like it better is that it’s less intrusive on your web browser. SiteAdvisor is a tool bar that takes up space in your browser. It also nags you sometimes. WOT doesn’t take up much space on your web browser and I’ve never seen it nag.

If you are using AVG, you can disable LinkScanner, and install WOT. If you are using Vipre, we recommend downloading and installing WOT.

If you use Internet Explorer, you can download WOT at http://www.mywot.com/en/download/ie

If you use FireFox, you can download WOT at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3456

If you use Google Chrome, you can download WOT at https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/bhmmomiinigofkjcapegjjndpbikblnp

For more information, check out http://www.mywot.com

Like any security software, it’s not a 100% guarantee that your computer won’t become infected. But WOT provides very good protection.

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