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To click or not to click

US-based SiteAdvisor Inc has launched a free plug-in for Internet Explorer and Firefox users, which rates the safety of websites found in a user’s search result list

US-based SiteAdvisor Inc has launched a free plug-in for Internet Explorer and Firefox users, which rates the safety of websites found in a user’s search result list.

Users of the plug-in see red, yellow or green tags alongside hits in search results found using Google, MSN, and Yahoo search engines. These coloured tags are based on the firm's test results of the site and user feedback. Red represents sites that heavily spam visitors, host spyware and adware, or hijack browser homepages, whereas yellow denotes sites that try to change a user’s browser defaults. Green meanwhile represents a safe site that doesn’t pose any significant threats.

“We believe consumers want to know, in plain English: 'If I download this program, will it come with adware?' Or, 'If I sign up here, how much and what kind of e-mail will I receive?” stated chief executive Chris Dixon, as quoted by informationweek.com. “SiteAdvisor zeros in on the moment of decision, when users are about to interact with a dangerous site. We can tell them: 'We've been here before, and here's what happened to us.'”

Users who wish to try the beta plug-in can download it from www.siteadvisor.com. SiteAdvisor currently works with Internet Explorer 5.5 and 6.0 as well as Firefox 1.07 and 1.5.

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