The Norman Transcript

Business

March 31, 2013

Who do you trust?

NORMAN — Like it or not, the Internet is a dangerous place. Scams abound and it’s often difficult to tell the bad guys from the good. Common sense can only carry you so far in making the all-important decision: Do I trust this website, or not?

It’s a bit like using the Yellow Pages to shop for a lawyer or dentist. All of the ads look good, but you have no way of knowing if the people behind the ads can really do a good job. It’s a real bummer learning that a lawyer or dentist is incompetent only after losing a lawsuit or having the wrong tooth removed. As such, we usually seek out the opinions of people that we trust to help us decide which lawyer or dentist to hire.

Trustworthy opinions about websites can be harder to come by. Sure, you can ask my opinion, but I can’t rate every website in the world. Sites like Amazon and Yahoo are generally safe, but I wouldn’t trust all of the ads that they display. Recently, one of my favorite weather websites, Intellicast, contained an ad linking to an Internet scam website called Google Money Master.

What’s needed is something like the Better Business Bureau for the Internet, but, sadly, the BBB lacks the personnel to review the approximately 200 million active websites in existence. Some services, such as McAfee SiteAdvisor, have tried to solve this problem, but have provided inconsistent and dubious results. One solution that actually works quite well, invented by two college students from Helsinki, Finland, is called Web of Trust.

Web of Trust (WOT) is a free security addon for your browser, and is designed to warn you before you interact with a risky website, keeping you safe from online scams, identity theft, spyware, spam, viruses and unreliable shopping sites. WOT is compatible with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Apple Safari. Download and install WOT at www.mywot.com.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business
  • Candy Basket celebrates 25 years

    Perhaps it’s the chocolate covered blueberries whose deliciousness still lingers. Or maybe it’s the blood orange and wild honey white chocolate ganache that won’t soon be forgotten by your taste buds. At The Candy Basket there is decadence ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Bramlett & Associates adopts new name reflective of business

    Bramlett & Associates Multimedia LLC (Bramlett Multimedia), 215 W. Main St., announced this month that the company will change its name after 12 years in business and will do business as BOLD-Multimedia. The announcement, made first to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Toothpick holders convention coming to Norman

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collection in 1936,” Ryan said. Ryan was born in 1940, and she grew up crawling around toothpick holders, as have ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Protect your online banking, shopping with encryption

    In my free, one-night class called “Fight the Internet Bad Guys and Win,” I teach everyday computer users how to stay out of trouble on the Internet. How to avoid virus infections, how to discern between the genuine and counterfeit, and ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tourism in Okla. creates $17.2 M in economic benefit

    A new National Park Service report shows that the 1,108,103 visitors to Oklahoma’s national parks in 2013 spent $17.2 million and supported 176 jobs in the state. Oklahoma’s three national parks include: Washita Battlefield National ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Norman United Wayboard gets to work

    The United Way of Norman Board of Directors for 2014-15 has met for the first time. Leading the group as chair was Steve McDaniel of Oklahoma State Bank....

    July 20, 2014

  • Family tragedy opened one woman’s eyes to the need of the disabled

    Jean Bayles had a dream. The dream was to provide a fully accessible home for rent in Norman. Her brother, Terry Abbott, was injured when he was 15 and has been a quadriplegic since....

    July 13, 2014

  • HeyDay brings Boomerang back to Norman

    Boomerang Grille was a family-oriented, iconic restaurant for many Norman residents for many years. Few are the people who have not slid into those vinyl seated booths, picked up the red phone and ordered a Theta burger and onion rings or ...

    July 13, 2014

  • Residents serve Leadership board

    Four Norman residents are serving on the board of Leadership Oklahoma....

    July 6, 2014

  • Bellhops offer moving help to Norman

    Founders Cameron Doody and Stephen Vlahos launched Bellhops at Auburn University in 2011. “Our first year, we set a goal of 25 moves, and after three days we had moved 230 students during the college move in season.” Doody said. “That’s ...

    July 6, 2014