WOT (browser add-on)

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For the cryptography term, see Web of trust.
WOT (browser add-on)
Wot logo slogan medium.png
Developer(s) WOT Services
Initial release 2007
Type Internet safety
Website www.mywot.com

WOT (Web of Trust) is a partly crowdsourced Internet website reputation rating tool. The installed browser add-on, available for Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Internet Explorer, shows its users the reputations of websites, which are calculated through a combination of user ratings and data from other sources. To generate revenue WOT licenses the use of its reputation database to other businesses.


WOT Services was founded in 2006 by Sami Tolvanen and Timo Ala-Kleemola, who wrote the WOT software as post-graduates at the Tampere University of Technology in Finland. They launched the service officially in 2007, with serial entrepreneur and angel investor Esa Suurio as CEO. In November 2009 Suurio moved on to his next endeavor.[1][not in citation given]

In 2009 MySQL founder Michael Widenius invested in WOT and became a member of the board of directors.[2]

The company has partnered with Facebook, hpHosts, LegitScript, Mail.ru, Panda Security, Phishtank, GlobalSign and TRUSTe.[3][4][5][6][7]

In November 2013 WOT surpassed 100 million downloads.[8]

The rating tool[edit]

According to the company information the WOT software computes the measure of trust the rating users have in websites, combined with data from, among others, Google Safe Browsing. The WOT browser add-on is available for all major operating systems and browsers. To view or submit ratings, no subscription is required. To be able to write comments on score cards and in the forum, one needs to be registered.

The add-on sends user ratings to the WOT site, and it determines how the computed results are displayed, depending on user's settings. For instance, when visiting a poorly rated site, a warning screen may pop up, or only a red icon in the user's browser tool-bar is shown. Color-coded icons are also shown next to external links on the pages of leading search engines, on email services, on social network sites, and on Wikipedia.

Ratings are cast by secret ballot. They can be given in the categories "trustworthiness" and "child safety". To specify at least one reason for a rating is mandatory, via multiple choice in the rating interface.

The user rating system is meritocratic; the weight of a rating is algorithmically calculated for each user individually.


The New York Times and the Washington Post made mention of WOT[9][10][11] and the add-on was mentioned and reviewed by the trade press and download sites. The reviewers opinions vary from good to excellent, though some critical remarks were made.

PC Magazine's Neil Rubenking concluded "Web of Trust's protection is free, and it doesn't impact browsing speed; it's well worth trying out". However, on the minus side he found several clearly adult sites unrated and he wished WOT would also rate sponsored search results, like its main competitors do.[12]

PC World's Preston Gralla concluded: "Try WOT (Web of Trust), an excellent--and free--browser add-on that offers protection", and Rick Broida wrote in an article "I also highly recommend Web of Trust, a free browser plug-in that shows you if Web links are safe--before you click them".[13][14]

Softpedia reviewer Ionut Ilascu wrote: "The reliability of the service has grown in the past years, despite voices accusing it of being exactly the opposite of what it should be, and proof is the collaboration with Facebook, Opera and Mail.ru Group.", concluding "As a service, WOT (Web of Trust) may be viewed as biased, but the latest developments in balancing the user opinion in order to provide relevant information point to the contrary. The extension is non-obtrusive but still has room for improvements.".[15]


In 2011 a lawsuit in Florida, USA against WOT and some of its forum members, demanding to remove ratings and comments, was dismissed with prejudice. In Germany some preliminary injunctions were issued by courts, to delete feedback.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "WOT Services Ltd.". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Modine, Austin (17 February 2009). "The Register - MySQL daddy juices Finnish security firm". Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Facebook Security - Keeping You Safe from Scams and Spam". 12 May 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Mail.Ru Group Launches New Browser Featuring Web of Trust Safe-Surfing Technology" (Press release). Rocket Science PR. 8 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Schaffhauser, Dian (11 August 2009). "The Journal - Panda Security, Against Intuition Offer Free 'Web of Trust' Browser Addon". Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Friends of PhishTank". Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "GlobalSign - GlobalSign Partners with Web of Trust to Provide Reputation Data in the Website Passport". 15 March 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Web of Trust hits 100 million Downloads Milestone". 12 November 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Richmond, Riva (19 May 2010). "New York Times - Five Ways to Keep Online Criminals at Bay". Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Krebs, Brian (29 July 2008). "Washington Post - Three Quarters of Malicious Web Sites Are Hacked". Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  11. ^ Bell, Melissa (13 May 2011). "Washington Post - After big news stories, watch out for social media viruses". Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Rubenking, Neil J. (Aug 13, 2009). "PC Magazine - Web of Trust Review and Rating". Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  13. ^ Gralla, Preston (26 April 2009). "PCWorld - Say WOT? Web of Trust Rates Web Site Safety". Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  14. ^ Broida, Rick (4 January 2010). "PCWorld - Make Your New PC Hassle-Free, Part 3: Keep It Secure". Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Ilascu, Ionut (26 September 2013). "Softpedia - Web of Trust Review". Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "WOT Wins Lawsuit In The US". ArcticStartup. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.