Google Chrome users should skip to Step 2. In Internet Explorer or Firefox, go to www.mywot.com. To install the WOT add-on, click the Free Download button. It should detect your web browser and display the appropriate download page. Click the Free Download button again. Internet Explorer users should click the Run button when prompted, then wait for the file to download and click Run again. Follow the setup wizard to complete the installation. Firefox users should click the Add to Firefox button and follow the prompts.
Google Chrome users need to be running version 4 or later. To check, open the browser, click the spanner icon and choose About Google Chrome. Click the Update Now button if prompted. Now type https://chrome.google.com/extensions into the Omnibox (Google’s name for the Address bar) and press Enter. This will open the Chrome Extensions Gallery. Type WOT into the Search box and click the magnifying glass icon to locate the extension. Click its link and then click the Install bu tton. When prompted, click Install once more.
Once installed, a new browser window will open enabling you to configure WOT’s settings. The pre-selected Basic option is best for most people. Parents may wish to choose Parental Control, which will block everyone’s access to websites rated unsafe. Choose a setting and click Next to access the registration screen. To register you will need to create a user profile where personal site ratings are stored. Either fill in the requested details and click Finish, or click the red-cross icon to continue without registering. A small WOT icon will appear in browser, near the Omnibox/Address/Location bar.
The next screen explains how WOT’s rating guide works. Each site is rated according to four categories: trustworthiness, vendor reliability (useful for shopping sites), privacy and child safety. Each category is given a score out of 100, which is then translated into a colour: dark green for an excellent score through to dark red for very poor. Each category’s score is then combined to give an overall colour-coded rating for the site: the colour of the aforesaid WOT icon will change to reflect this, enabling you to immediately see if the site is rated safe.
To find out more about a site’s rating, click the WOT icon. A pop-up will appear listing the site’s ratings for all four categories. Get more details by clicking the ‘View scorecard for rating details’ link. A new window appears with detailed ratings, a site description and user comments. From here you can rate the site by clicking on each individual category to score it out of very poor, poor, unsatisfactory, good or excellent. Registered users can also comment on the site by clicking Add a comment and – if necessary – logging in when prompted.
Attempt to access a website with a poor or very poor rating and this blocking message will be displayed instead of the site. If you wish, click the ‘Ignore warning and go to site’ link to proceed, but do so with extreme caution. If you think that the rating is incorrect, click ‘This site is safe – I want to rate it’. If Parental Controls was selected in Step 3 of this Workshop then neither option will appear (we will explain how to change these settings in the next step).
To change the default warning settings, click the WOT icon and choose Settings. A new browser window will open. Click the Warnings heading. A number of presets are available on the left or you can customise the settings using the four main categories listed on the right. Choose whether to completely block a site or post a warning based on a category’s rating, and decide what level of rating – unsatisfactory (amber), poor (light red) or very poor (dark red) – triggers the blocked message. Click Apply Settings when you are done.
Web of Trust will also rate the results of major search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo, as well as links displayed by some web-based email providers such as Hotmail and Google Mail. A ratings symbol appears next to each link – just roll the mouse pointer over this to see a pop-up window with ratings and popularity score for that site. Click the small ‘i’ button to open a new window or tab with a detailed scorecard rating and review of the site from the WOT website.
To change the way WOT handles websearch results and webmail links, click the main WOT icon and click Settings again. This time, choose the Searching heading. See which search engines and webmail providers are monitored by WOT in the ‘Select when ratings are shown box’. Although individual engines and providers can be excluded from here (click on the tick to remove it), it’s not recommended. Tick ‘Show only negative ratings’ to only show the WOT rating if it’s yellow or red, and experiment with the other options using the preview window as a guide. Again, click Apply Settings when finished.
By default, a site’s rating is based on all four categories. To exclude any or all of the vendor reliability, privacy or child safety categories from the overall rating, click the Ratings heading under Settings. Click the Popup heading to enable or disable the pop-up that appears when the mouse pointer is rolled over a search engine result or web email link. Select Advanced to manually input site addresses that you want WOT to ignore or enable a colour-blind-accessible version that uses a different colour scheme to display site ratings. Don’t forget to click Apply Settings after making changes.