Internet Mozilla Security

SiteAdvisor Spyware Quiz

Site Advisor is running a quiz to see if users can correctly identify sites that ship spyware with their products. A few things crossed my mind while taking the quiz:

The age old method of knowing if an establishment is legitimate is to ask someone who knows, or rely on reviews. In my case I use Google queries, and got 7/8 (simply because I guessed on the P2P programs presented in the end, because I got lazy and it’s getting late). That proved pretty accurate. Just the site name and “spyware” turned up good results each time. Granted that’s more technical than most. I know many who limit their downloads to those offered by more trusted sources (recommended by tech mags for example, or included on CD with them). This test doesn’t really reflect those habits accurately, making more people seem vulnerable.

Why do they have an old version of Firefox for the screenshots (I see the update icon)? Don’t they know running the latest version has more security fixes, and will protect them from known and fixed exploits? I’d expect more from them on that one.

Oh yea, after your done taking the test you can see the analysis of the results, but don’t view that if you plan to take the test or you’ll ruin it. But I know your all honest and wouldn’t cheat ;-).

3 replies on “SiteAdvisor Spyware Quiz”

Because no one notices that update button. None of the “none-techie” users i know ever updated any software on notice on their own, neither internetexplorer, nor windows, nor firefox. it has to be done automagically in the background with zero user intervention, otherwise it won’t work at all. i’m glad it’s planned for firefox 2.0.

I failed on question 1, though in reality I probably wouldn’t have trusted either site.

ckd: That update icon is dead in 1.5. Its presence shows they’re using 1.0.6 or earlier (there’s no update notification for .7->.8).

SiteAdvisor posts that it is review sites to Google. So if you have a site Called, SiteAdvisor will post

SiteAdvisor tests for spyware, adware, spam, downloads, phishing, fraud, e-mail practices.

Nice. That gives a wonderful first impression of your site, doesn’t it. You can’t see that your site tested clean until you visit site advisor. Most users will just go on to the next site in the search engine. And the only way to get that changed is to sign up for SiteAdvisors paid service for your site, at which point they will post your positive rating in the search engine too. Sounds like bully tactics to me.

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