The number of malicious Internet websites is increasing. According to the McAfee quarterly threat report, there are now greater than 36 million websites considered to have bad reputations. By bad reputations, they mean sites “hosting malware, potentially unwanted programs, or phishing sites.”
These are the malicious sites this blog has referred to when we warn about malware injections onto your computer by visiting them. The report states “Most (94.2 percent) of these URLs host malware, exploits, or code that have been designed specifically to hijack computers. Phishing and spam represent about 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively.”
That’s more than 36 million sites that, if visited, could inject malware on your computer that will potentially turn it into a botnet zombie, controlled by cyber criminals; steal your funds from your bank accounts; lock up your computer until you pay a ransom to get it back; steal your personally identifiable information in order to steal your identity, open credit accounts in your name and ruin your credit standing. Depending on the malicious malware payload injected onto your computer it could be any or all of the above ruin-your-day activities that take place.
I don’t have an affiliation with McAfee, so this is not a sales pitch for their products. However, McAfee uses their list of “bad reputation” websites to warn their users as to what reputation they have, good or bad.
Another tool performs much the same function for free. It’s called Web of Trust or WOT and it will give you a green, yellow, or red signal for each website listed in a Google search, thereby allowing you to know which sites are unsafe before you visit them. The only downside of WOT is that it’s based on users reporting a bad website when found. However, I find it very useful in keeping my computer safe. WOT states “WOT shows you which websites you can trust based on millions of users’ experiences around the world to help you stay safe when you search, surf, and shop online.” You can download it here, it runs on most operating systems.
Reference: McAfee Threats Report: Second Quarter 2012
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