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Search engine users continue to be at significant risk of clicking through to web sites that can compromise their online safety, says McAfee’s follow-up report to its study from May 2006.
"Search engines continue to play vital roles in the consumer’s online experience. However, the risks of clicking on unsafe search results are also real," said Mr Chris Dixon, director of strategy, McAfee SiteAdvisor.
Also all this uhh about spyware adware most of those are harmless and a normal user also knows these days where not to go.
We need to define normal user. I see many users who systems are plagued with all sorts of issues. And some of that stuff is not harmless. It can cause grave harm. So much so that IE7 comes with a phishing filter "On" by default.
The sad thing is my site is still flagged as red even though I removed the link around 6 months ago – SiteAdvisor still hasn't picked up on that. My site has had 6 positive and 0 negative user reviews. That says something, doesn't it? I'm not all that worried though, my site still features well in the serps and traffic in general hasn't been affected by its red rating.
SiteAdvisor really owes it to webmasters to give them a chance to clean up their act if they find out there is something wrong with their site. Especially something as petty as a link to a “bad site”. I'd even be willing to pay a few bucks for a reassessment.
I'll only start taking these search engine safety reports seriously when SiteAdvisor stops flagging legitimate sites as red or yellow (my site is not alone).
2. Get a separate PC for your kids
3. If 2., then not 1.
4. Just check your email or download folder with your anti-virus software, if you get a new file.
5. Surf with Active X and Java turned off.
6. There are other programs besides McAfee and Norton out there.
McAfee are very tardy updating their 'rankings'. For example it took them six months to rank our site at all, simply because we have a mailing list (double confirm self-subscription only). They monitor to see how many emails the list delivers. So for six months they display a question mark next to your perfectly clean site, which is very off-putting.
I also know of a perfectly clean site marked as Red (Danger) due to malicious 'complaints' targeting them. Despite a deluge of genuine and positive reviews, McAfee had them red-flagged for over six months.
So SiteAdvisor loses credibility (like Wikipedia has) due to manipulation by users. Would you trust anything you read on Wikipedia? I certainly don't.)
They really need to close this hole before they can be taken seriously, but it is a useful development.
"A red rating warns users that a site poses a security threat, including the misuse of e-mail addresses, scams, exploits, and downloads containing spy ware, aware, or other unwanted programs."
In my opinion misuse of email addresses while annoying does not rise to red level abuse and skews the entire report. I cannot find what percentage is used for email abuse but I will guess it is significant if not the most prevalent because of the ease of abuse.
The email-factor inflation of the 'red zone' could be seen as a marketing ploy nullifying this report making it just another Web2.0 Viral gimmick.
The sad part of it is, that both plug-ins (I looked at both deeply) are NOT recognized by McAffee, only Kapersky and Trend Micro caught the malware...
Nice, that they point out the risk - nicer would be a suite, that removes that thing :-)