Web of Trust (WOT)


Web of Trust (WOT)

The best tool that tells you which websites you can trust based on user ratings


Our rating: 


Pros & Cons:

Fast; highly compatible but works best in Firefox; works with the most search engines and even Google image search; multiple categories of user comment; excellent warning and blocking; child safety rating; excellent documentation.
Less functionality in browsers other than Firefox; slow on image search results.

Our Review:

Web of Trust (WOT) from WOT Services is the Editors' Choice because it leads in many areas: compatibility and integration with seamless operation; flexible options; searching; warning and blocking; and user input. It only loses in areas that it doesn't compete in: meta-rating (combining the results from several raters as in Link Extend) and scanning.

WOT is the best implemented and the best documented rater - you can even view the source code. It is also the most heavily criticized. For these reasons I'm using it to discuss many of the features that can be found in raters.

Rating scorecards

The WOT scorecard shows ratings for two categories. [Don't confuse these with the user comment categories which do not affect the ratings. It's a shame that many critics of WOT do not realize this.]

  1. Trustworthiness - WOT calculates this with information from trusted sources and user feedback.
  2. Child Safety - Is the website safe for young children? Does it have material (e.g. pornography), games (e.g. age-restricted games), multimedia (e.g. music with explicit lyrics), or forums (e.g. political or religious viewpoints) that is better reserved for adults?

Warning and blocking

WOT is very good at warning and blocking. You decide how to handle each of the rating categories. Specify the level of danger you are prepared to accept - red, orange, or yellow - and then whether you want a warning or a block. You can also include unrated sites if you don't want them to slip through by default. WOT's block screen will redirect you to WOT or open in a new tab, but will not take you to a risky site unless you specifically chose to ignore the warning. It's up to you which step you take next:

  • Ignore the WOT warning and go to the website;
  • Rate the site if you disagree with WOT's rating;
  • View rating details and comments about the website;
  • Use your browser to take some other action: surf to a different website, close the tabbed window, go back, use a bookmark, etc.


Like most raters, WOT has a safe search option. It's provided by Surf Canyon based on Bing. WOT also has more search options to choose from. You can select the rating you want to see in the search results: the default "optimized" rating, the lowest rating, or the trustworthiness rating by itself. WOT ratings also appear for more search engines and other services than any other product:

  • English search engines: AOL, Ask, Bing, Google, Yahoo!
  • Non-english search engines: China - Baidu; Czech - Seznam, WebHledani; Korea - Naver; Russia - Rambler, Yandex;
  • Metasearch engines and reference: Dogpile, Inquick, Search, Wikipedia
  • Social networks and messaging: Facebook, Gmail, Mail Ru, Twitter, Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail

User ratings

WOT has a comprehensive set of categories for user ratings and comments. When I collated these categories for all the programs I reviewed, I found that WOT covers most of them.

Web of Trust (WOT) was reviewed by on


WOT is disable in Firefox 48 Beta 5 on my laptop. The reason being its not signed. Any workarounds/alternatives for this issue?

Could someone actually tell me what the My Wot privacy policy means? They say they don't collect personal information, but look what the classify as non personal information which they admit they do retain for whatever purposes.

Your Internet Protocol Address;
Your geographic location (e.g., France, Canada, etc.);
The type of device, operating system and browsers you use;
Date and time stamp;
Browsing usage, including visited web pages, clickstream data or web address accessed;
Browser identifier and user ID;

Now I understand, webfilters need information to create their list and all, but it seems that they collect your IP address and attach your browser history to it and say that they will give up the information if law enforcement ask for it. IP addresses and browser history is enough to convict people and My Wot knows everything b/c it is an addon that is always on. It is just unnecessary for them to collect that much information, heck if they stopped collecting ip addresses, and use the other stuff without the IP address collection, then it would be fine, and the product wouldn't suffer any bit at all. I don't trust it.

Privacy issues aside, I think the stuff written about the addon is mostly true, it works well enough for big to medium sites It also helps sometimes to prevent you to malicious imitation sites like bankofamerica123 or something odd that like. However small sites are often not classified correctly, I seen a lot of their top 100 reviewers put down ratings that have no connections to the website they are rating. For example, there could a be information website that does not sell anything at all implied or not implied, but one of the Top 100 reviewers will put in the description "scam, sell fake items," obvious cut and paste reviews for literally thousands of reviews per Top 100 reviewers.

There are a lot of "drive by reviews" like that for small sites, being small they either have to pony up thousands of dollars for the badge of trust or whatever they call it these days. With big and medium sites with reputations and PR muscle, there is enough pressure for Wot staff to override their member's careless ratings, but for everybody else...shrugs.

Please provide links to the erroneous small site ratings you refer to so viewers (and WOT staff) have some examples to relate to. MC - Site Manager.

If this is true, wot probably needs to be removed from your recommended list.
"The data that Panorama bought from brokers contained more than ten billion web addresses. The data was not fully anonymized, as the team managed to identify people in various ways.

The web address, URL, for instance revealed user IDs, emails or names for instance. This was the case for PayPal (email), for Skype (user name) or an online check-in of an airline."

The article does not say that WOT provided user IDs. Instead, the user IDs were derivable in the browsing history URLs.

Anonymization cannot work properly unless the browsing history provider knows which labels to remove from the URLs.  WOT doesn't appear to have this level of information so their is little chance that they can fully anonymize the URLs. That is why so many people are against any form of data sharing because there is more than one way to identify individual users.

One important reason that browsing histories are so easily exploited to identify individual users is that too many websites include the user ID or similarly identifiable label in their URLs. This is a convenient way for sites to work but I'd be much happier if they anonymized all their URLs. This site, for example, does use a user number but that resolves to my user name so my browsing history on this site will reveal my user ID, e.g. http://www.techsupportalert.com/user/##### resolves to http://www.techsupportalert.com/users/remah. This means that my user ID can also be determined with very little effort.

Personally, it doesn't bother me that my public user ID on sites like this can be gleaned from my browsing history. But it would bother me if that were the case for my bank or other sites where there is greater financial risk. Thankfully sites like my bank and PayPal are well aware of this security issue and do not reveal any identifiable information in any of the URLs that I use. It is a shame that all other sites don't do the same.

I'm not sure how the PayPal user IDs mentioned in the article were derived but it may be on third-party sites and not PayPal itself.

As for removing WOT from recommendations, I don't support this as I am not bothered by this issue.

If the decision is not to remove the addon, I believe techsupportalert at a minimum has thr obligation to disclose the privacy issues that have been on the news lately. Even chrome and firefox already removed this addon from their sites.

Issues, or not, with WOT need to be carefully discussed in the review before the recommended label is reapplied.

They are no longer operating - their assets have been sold! Their Browser Plugin is no longer available and is no longer supported.





In light of this, is Gizmo's still using this as their #1 choice for filter against "Bad Web Sites"?  C. Mc.

Wow - rehash stuff from last year and miss the discussion in the Forum here. Wow, wow - make factually incorrect claims that "They are no longer operating - their assets have been sold!" Seriously, where did this come from?

Perhaps you read the Wikipedia article which says that the company is liquidated since June 2016? It means the old company rather than the new company. Probably an ESOL wrote that misleading statement. Following the Wikipedia reference to the business registration information you'll see that it is still operating. Alternatively go to their website and see that support is continuing.

Installed WOT Chrome add-on to my Vivaldi browser today and it is working perfectly.
Firefox add-on not yet available.

Why do you guys seemingly don't "care" about Google, Apple, Microsoft and practically all the other big players doing the same thing?

And mentioning "Panorama" is a dead give away for me. I am a German living in the US and Panorama is one of the IMHO worst leftist "Fake news" TV shows; IMHO very unreliable and sensationalist.

Please take the time to read the last article on pcejh [dot] com for a background opinion to this infantile situation.

And BTW, Google had WOT removed from their download page for extensions but shortly after WOT changed the wording of their EULA Google restored it again.

Mozilla being a European "institution" with heavy German influence just stubbornly refuses to do the same. Sad state of affairs for the average, non-geek home user.

And to the site.editors and everybody else who might be inclined: Thanks for not removing the info after "read the last article on"; there are NO sales pitches there at all.