Scansafe is launching a new free product called scandoo which aims to tag search results with Green yellow and blow widgets so you know which sites are safe (green), dangerous (red) or uncertain (Yellow). ZDnet had news of the scandoo service which is not the first attempt at making the web safe… Siteadvisor from McAfee attempts to do the same (with installed software) and Symantec is working on a competitor as well. Further there are toolbars that attempt to protect users from phishing scams, but I’m not sure that this service will be as successful as hoped.
I’ve tried it and one thing that it relies on is the categorizing of sites. Essentially sites are tagged into categories – Here’s the list…
Arts and Culture
Fashion and Beauty
Food and Drink
Hate and Discrimination
Leisure and Entertainment
News and Magazines
Politics and Society
Sex / Nudity
Toys and Games
By default 4 categories are tagged as unacceptable (Weapons, Sex and Nudity, Illegal Activities and Hate and Discrimination) and will be marked with the red icon. You can add tags to your “unacceptable site list. Sites that haven’t been categorized are left with a yellow question mark. There are problems that I’ve seen though. For one, I’m not sure what lengths one has to go to get a site categorized. I’ve tried to tag this site as technology several times as I’m in the yellow question mark territory. I suspect that it takes their moderators intervention, or a certain number of votes perhaps. But what if a “trusted” domain tagged as Leisure and Entertainment lapses and get’s registered by a hate group? Also, it does merely tag content rather than preventing the visiting of it.
It only tags those results from the search engine. It doesn’t tag sponsored results (ads) or links once you’ve followed one page. I don’t think this will have a great impact on the number of spyware, adware, or browsers exploited. There is a note in the zdnet article that they have a browser toolbar on the way, which I suppose could be more effective in tagging sites (i.e. sites that you visit after a main search page would be tagged I hope.) However, this looks more like a possible route to a content filter than a cureall for spyware. (I didn’t see a single way that a site could be tagged as having malicious content, just categorized for content.) The truth is, it’s not just gambling/hacking/porn sites that have nasty browser exploit content.
Now, just looking at it as it is. I think it could be a good guide for someone wanting to avoid getting to the “wrong place”. For instance in a search for sex site…. it managed to tag fairly well, news and information sites as being ok, but porn sites with the red icon. (Although it didn’t prevent visiting the site, although I image with a toolbar, they might allow a system administrator to control that. So this could be a useful tool (with that added feature) with publicly collaborated tags for tightening controls on public pcs web access.)
Again, the zdnet article says it aims to reduce the risk of spyware/adware, by warning of malicious sites… in practice – not quite. I can’t tag this as “security” news then, but it might be a good content filter (or search advisor of a sort.)
Related PostsRelated Posts
- Google accepting new signups for Analytics again Well, Analytics is still getting up to speed. For the last week or so, new signups at the new Google analytics site had been suspended (and they suspended existing users from adding a site for monitoring.) Now It looks as though they've started adding new signups. The writer at the......
- The war on terror on the web Since it's related to the web, I'll post it here. According to The Times Online (UK), tens of websites linked to Al-Qaeda have abruptly vanished from the web. Apparently, it's suspected that British Intelligence has had something to do with the closing of the sites which, among other things provided......
- Best Search Engine Optimization Secrets Perhaps you think that search engine optimization is a very difficult task. You probably think that unless you hire an expert, you cannot achieve high page ranking. Actually, there are some secrets in SEO to get good ranking and stay on top. Read this article to find out some tips......
- The Right Way To Achieve Web Success If you'd like to understand precisely what it is that other webmasters do to get their Internet site to the top of Google, Yahoo or Bing then this short article is precisely for you. If you want to gain the top positions that have alluded you so far you have......
- Can Be There A Back-link Software Meant For Search Engine Optimization? Back-links, or back links, are a crucial building block inside the Search engine marketing (Web Optimization) process. Inbound links support engines like google to establish a web site's level of popularity nevertheless, simple one way links are usually not ample for boosting a website's rank in Search results (Search Engine......
- Google explains Google China Decision
- Spyware’s likely suspect sites.
- Roll your own search engine… sort of…
- Search engines to blame for malware spread?
- The wolf in sheeps clothing, software that claims to be anti-spyware, but installs more spyware on your pc