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Website Authentication

Thursday, June 12th, 2008


More and more frequently, visiting the wrong website causes damage to peoples PCs. Even worse, some websites can cause serious damage to people’s lives by stealing their identity, destroying their credit score or emptying their bank account.

►► The most dangerous places on the Web are phishing, spyware, spam, and other scam websites.

Surprisingly, even search engines are not immune to the malice of the Internet. It is often very difficult to determine whether a search engine’s results are dangerous based on the link and description alone. With this assortment of pitfalls, it is helpful and even necessary to have a third party guide you through the hazards of the Web.

Website Authentication

Luckily, there are website authentication tools that can give you the information you need to protect yourself against sites that intend to spam, scam or annoy you with excessive pop-ups. Web authentication tools scan the entire Internet in order to create a constantly updated database of what is safe, what is potentially dangerous, and what is seriously risky. A web authentication tool will check to see if a site has excessive pop up advertisements, if it’s downloads are safe and virus/spyware free, and if it sends spam to users that enter an email address into the site. The tools also check sites’ affiliates and follow its links to make sure it isn’t providing a deceptive outward appearance that could lead to trouble down the line.

An important resource that web authentication tools provide is the input of other users. Along with a database of their own testing results, web authentication tools also keep records of customer complaints and compliments. This way the system is not completely automated—there is a certain human element involved. If the automated scans miss a dangerous aspect of a site, users have the ability to alert the public, and the developers, that something is amiss. This goes both ways as well, if a website decides to clean up its act, the combination of automated scans and customer input will eventually improve its rating.

Website Authentication = Preemptive Protection

One of the top benefits of website authentication tools is that they provide preemptive protection—they identify the threats before they are encountered.

When your search engine returns hundreds of results, you will know which are safe, threatening, or just too risky. When you start to browse from site to site, you are given the same information for each one you visit. If you find yourself at a site that your web authentication tool has deemed risky, you will know not to enter any information, download or click anything, and to close the window immediately. Web authentication provides the ability to avoid disaster before it happens, which is very useful considering the time and effort involved in cleaning up a compromised system.

The number one website authentication tool is McAfee SiteAdvisor. For more information on McAfee’s leading Website authentication protection, see McAfee Total Protection with SiteAdvisor Plus.


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