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Kudos0

Safe Web Ratings Question

What percentage of unsafe sites does Safe Web actually flag as unsafe?  When I do a Google search, most of the sites get a green check mark.  I thought the unsafe percentage would be higher but I really don't know.  Are most sites really safe?

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question

What percentage of unsafe sites does Safe Web actually flag as unsafe?  When I do a Google search, most of the sites get a green check mark.  I thought the unsafe percentage would be higher but I really don't know.  Are most sites really safe?

Kudos1

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question

Hi Car825,

I don't have statistics on the actual percentage but the safe web rating is very accurate and if you look at the full report of things which are tested I think you will find that it is very thorough.

However, this only tells you that the website was safe at the time it was tested and the reality is that in today's world a website could be compromised at any time after the testing was completed. So you should always approach this with caution and practice safe surfing habits.

See example for Symantec's own website.

http://safeweb.norton.com/report/show?url=symantec.com

A green check mark does not guarantee that a website is safe so always be careful and be alert to anything which seems wrong. One thing you can be sure of is to stay away from websites which have a yellow or red rating. A ? means that the website has not been tested yet and my personal practice is to NOT visit those sites either. If you do visit a website with a ?, then approach with extra caution.

Another thing to be aware of is that websites which have been previously tested will get revisited over time. It is not a one time thing. Websites can be retested based on user reports of possible malware and is also based on Symantec's own internal criteria. Symantec does not advertise upon what criteria a website will be retested - for what should be obvious reasons.

Edit: One other thing I thought I would add in case you are not aware of it. A website does not generally get an initial test until it is requested by the website owner or Administrator so in general the initial testing of a website is probably going to have a tendancy to be clean initially. I've been told that a website can be tested without an owner request but I do not know under what criteria this will happen. If a "bad guy" puts up a website and requests testing by safe web he is going to make sure it really is clean that first time. So the retesting is key and as a user if you have good reason to believe a website has been compromised, you have a moral responsibility to notify safe web.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes.

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question

It all depends on what you search for. If you search for "free antivirus" or for "porn" most of the sites would be unsafe. However, if you search for "rocket launch" or "nasa" most of the site would be safe.

Norton Internet Security 2011 , Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit (Check if you are eligable for a FREE Norton upgrade)Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”--Thomas Alva EdisonI'm not a Symantec employee and my posts do not represent the views of Symantec.
Kudos0

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question


AllenM wrote:
"A website does not generally get an initial test until it is requested by the website owner or Administrator so in general the initial testing of a website is probably going to have a tendancy to be clean initially. I've been told that a website can be tested without an owner request but I do not know under what criteria this will happen."

I have a website that was rated early on in the Safe Web program before I even knew about it, and it is a small, less-often-visited site.   So when I see others having to request a review, I guess I was just lucky in the draw.

Kudos2

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question


Tywin7 wrote:

It all depends on what you search for. If you search for "free antivirus" or for "porn" most of the sites would be unsafe. However, if you search for "rocket launch" or "nasa" most of the site would be safe.


Actually, that is not true about porn sites.  Studies have shown that porn sites are statistically safer than non-porn sites.  There is big money in porn and purveyors do not want to be losing customers by infecting their machines with malware. 

http://www.mydigitallife.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1055060

As for NASA sites being safe, that is also not true.  The latest malicious hack was only two weeks ago::

http://blog.sucuri.net/2010/10/nasa-web-site-hacked-and-serving-malwarespam.html

Any site has a potential to be hacked.  Generalizations about safe or unsafe sites are no longer meaningful, other than to say that popular sites present a more attractive target to hackers, which is why Norton has devised a special scan for Facebook.

Kudos0

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question

That I didn't know. I was under the impression that porn=virus.  But anyways, it all depends on what you search for that determines the amount of dangerous sites that appear.

Norton Internet Security 2011 , Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit (Check if you are eligable for a FREE Norton upgrade)Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”--Thomas Alva EdisonI'm not a Symantec employee and my posts do not represent the views of Symantec.
Kudos0

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question


Tywin7 wrote:

It all depends on what you search for. If you search for "free antivirus" or for "porn" most of the sites would be unsafe. However, if you search for "rocket launch" or "nasa" most of the site would be safe.


I googled "free antivirus". Most of the sites listed had green check marks. 

Kudos0

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question

Bad example because google equals free antivirus to reputable companies like AVG and avira. Try googling "free screensavers" and by the time you get to the second page you will start seeing a couple of dangerous sites.

Norton Internet Security 2011 , Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit (Check if you are eligable for a FREE Norton upgrade)Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”--Thomas Alva EdisonI'm not a Symantec employee and my posts do not represent the views of Symantec.
Kudos0

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question


Tywin7 wrote:

Bad example because google equals free antivirus to reputable companies like AVG and avira. Try googling "free screensavers" and by the time you get to the second page you will start seeing a couple of dangerous sites.


I googled "free screensavers".  Out of the first 100 sites, less than 10% had a red X.  So 90%+ are safe according to Safe Web.  I thought the unsafe percentage would be higher for this search but I really don't know.  Are most sites really safe?  This is the original question that started the thread.

Kudos0

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question

Nobody really knows

Norton Internet Security 2011 , Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit (Check if you are eligable for a FREE Norton upgrade)Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”--Thomas Alva EdisonI'm not a Symantec employee and my posts do not represent the views of Symantec.
Kudos0

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question


Tywin7 wrote:

Nobody really knows


I agree with you. If most of the websites are green then how does one get infected even after accessing those green websites?

Cheers!

There is a Hell. Believe me I've seen it.There is a Heaven. Lets keep it a Secret.
Kudos0

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question

Hi Folks,

As I mentioned earlier, a green rating is not a guarantee that a website is safe. A site can become infected at any time after it has been tested by safe web. Caution and digilence should always be employed when you are surfing the web.

Also bear in mind that the rating is only one piece of the protection. Norton is always running in real time and checking for known threats and other signs of malicious activity.

I myself have clicked on links before with a green rating and had NIS throw up a full page block because it detected something in real time and blocked the threat.

With all the "bad guys" out there constantly writing new malware and changing existing malware to cirumvent your security software there is always a chance that something will slip through Norton's radar and infect your computer. But with safe surfing habits, keeping Windows updated regularly, updating key programs like Adobe, JAVA, etc and keeping your Norton software up to date at all times, you can reduce the risk of infection dramatically.

In 20 years I have had only 2 infections, one very minor and the other was medium.

With all the new malware coming out all the time, this is why things like SONAR (behavioral analysis) is so important in today's world. Sure SONAR can have FP's sometimes but without it to assist the traditional scanning, there would be far more infections making it to people's computers.

Best wishes.

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: Safe Web Ratings Question

c825:
> Are most sites really safe?  This is the original question that started the thread.

Of course.  Do the math.  Most people are honest.  Only a small percentage are criminals.  That translates to webpages also.

But, just like "traditional crime", if it's your browser that gets attacked it can create a major problem for you.


t7:
> It all depends on what you search for.

Exactly.  There's an old saying:  an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


sol:
> Generalizations about safe or unsafe sites are no longer meaningful

Here's a generalization that I believe is true.

I use Google _advanced search_ because it allows me more control over the search (i.e., number of results, phrase, unwanted words, etc) and produces fewer, more relevant results.

Under the "Date, usage rights, numeric range and more" link on the advanced search page, I select Region -> United States.

NIS' red caution symbol is definitely _more_ common when results from _all countries_ is used (which is the default unless you select this option).  Which doesn't mean it's frequent.

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