Take the spyware quiz

Take the spyware quiz

Summary: How good are you are recognizing unsafe websites -- sites that have unsafe downloads or sites download spyware and use exploits, sites that collect email addreses to spam? SiteAdvisor has a quiz to check your site-sniffing abilities.

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TOPICS: Security
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How good are you are recognizing unsafe websites -- sites that have unsafe downloads or sites download spyware and use exploits, sites that collect email addresses to spam? SiteAdvisor has a quiz to check your site-sniffing abilities. They say:

[...] it's hard to judge a book by its cover. We'd argue that it's even harder to judge the safety of a Web site by its looks. Think you can sniff out which sites are adware & spyware free? Take our spyware quiz and see.

SiteAdvisor is a browser plug-in that helps you decide if web sites are safe or unsafe. For details on how it works click here. You might have already heard about SiteAdvisor by now. It unofficially debuted in December. Ben Edelman, who is on the board of advisors, has an article here about SiteAdvisor and why it's different from other programs like TRUSTe's Web Privacy Seal, different from Verisign's certification program and TrustWatch's toolbar

I wholeheartedly endorse SiteAdvisor now -- I think it's an excellent program. I'll admit to being a bit reluctant at first because I checked some sites that I know to be sources of malware, and those sites were given a green rating. At that time, SiteAdvisor did not have the ability to detect web pages with exploits; however, that functionality has since been added. You can download the SiteAdvisor toolbar for Internet Explorer or for Firefox and plug-ins for other browsers are in the works.

I took the quiz.  My score was just over 50% and I think I'm pretty good at picking out the baddies. Go take the quiz; you can post your score in the talkbacks.

Topic: Security

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21 comments
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  • There comes a time

    There comes a time when one must stop and consider:

    [b][i]"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!"[/b][/i]

    Ask yourself the question:

    [b][i]"How many times am I going to submit to these never-ending spyware scams?"[/b][/i]

    Folks, take back control of your PC! Say it loud, together now:

    [b][i]"No more spyware! And I'm not going to take it anymore!"[/b][/i]

    Say it again! (The crowd roars...)

    ;)

    Seriously, if you allow yourself, [i]you CAN[/i] make the switch to SuSE as I did and set yourself free!

    [b]You can do it![/b]

    Best of all, [b]OpenSuSE[/b] [i]is[/i] [b]FREE![/b]

    Read more about [b]OpenSuSE[/b] here folks:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opensuse

    or, go directly (do not pass go, do not collect $200) to the website to download here:

    [b]www.opensuse.org[/b]

    And now, back to our commercial-free program.

    Oh. Ah hem. Thanks Suze :)
    D T Schmitz
    • LOL...

      Dietrich, that was quite the plug for SuSE. :) I have it - still in the box, after that one false start. I need more hours in the day -- I will install it one of these days, but I don't know about completely switching over. ;)
      Suzi_z
      • Shameless

        That was a 'shameless' plug, wasn't it? ;)
        But, it's true.
        D T Schmitz
      • Just Imagine..

        You would need to find something new to blog about... if you were to switch....

        Maybe one reason that you have not yet explored SuSE or Knoppix or even the VMPlayer?

        I am a bit surprised you do not discuss the mechanics of spyware/adware... at least to point out or acknowledge that it happens only on one platform.......


        BTW took the test & also got 6 of 8 as I chose Emule as the only site I would trust.
        LazLong
        • Blog: Suze on SuSE

          Re: SuSE, I should think there would be no shortage of things of a 'positive' nature to blog about.

          I'll leave it there.
          D T Schmitz
        • Hmmm

          LazLong wrote:

          "You would need to find something new to blog about... if you were to switch....

          Maybe one reason that you have not yet explored SuSE or Knoppix or even the VMPlayer?"

          No, the reason has to do with time - I'm too busy fighting spyware to switch... ;) Just kidding. I have VMware, so no need to use the VMPlayer. I'm sure I can learn to use SuSE, but it will take some time. Now, don't hit me but I like Windows. :p That's not to say I wouldn't like other operating systems, but I don't get spyware/malware infections and I'm used to Windows and I have VMware, so why do I really "need" Linux, SuSE, Mac or whatever? I don't need it for security reasons.

          "I am a bit surprised you do not discuss the mechanics of spyware/adware... at least to point out or acknowledge that it happens only on one platform......."

          I could do that. I'll work on it.
          Suzi_z
          • No need to rush

            I guess there's no need to rush, since you're pretty busy combating the malware plague, which IMHO is a good thing, even for Linux guys like me. I wouldn't want my machine to be a carrier, for instance, and many of my friends and relatives aren't very security-minded, so I feel compelled to keep them in the loop(they think I'm some sort of computer guru just because I use Linux :)).

            At the very least, though, when you have some free time, you should read up on some Linux 101(common shell commands and KDE/GNOME use). That way if you do get around to trying Suse on VMware, the subtle differences won't throw you for a loop. It took me a month to get comfortable enough with the desktop, and a year to get confident enough to try other distributions.

            In the meantime, don't sweat it. When(or if :)) you get around to it, I'll look forward to that "Suzi on Suse" post. It would be nice to hear your opinions on it, both good and bad.
            Tony Agudo
          • Almost forgot about...

            my quiz score. 4 out of 8. That's some really tricky stuff, so I downloaded the SiteAdvisor Firefox extension. Who knows, I may stumble onto a bad site that targets *nix systems and tell you about it :)
            Tony Agudo
          • please do..

            if you find such a site, that is... ;-
            Suzi_z
          • Doh!, You're going to...

            Doh!,

            You're going to scare her away with the [i]"common shell commands"[/i] thing! ;) (kidding)

            And she even went and [i]bought[/i] the SuSE retail version and [i]didn't[/i] install it!

            Oh, the humanity!

            But, then, life happens. Oh well. Nevermind.

            Your'e right--it really, reheheally, [b]realLY[/b] [i]would[/i] be nice to have her opinions, good or bad. I can take it.

            No rush Suze. Ah. hem.

            Thanks Rafterman!
            D T Schmitz
          • A year??

            "It took me a month to get comfortable enough with the desktop, and a year to get confident enough to try other distributions."

            Wow - that's more discouraging than the part about the shell commands. But was that occaisional use, playing around with it, or were you really working on it every day?
            Suzi_z
          • It was occasional at first

            Getting used to the desktop environments wasn't really that hard, but there were times when I did go back to Windows briefly. I started on RedHat Linux 8 in 2001, which was great as a desktop then but didn't have the polish of today's distributions. Plus, I was also tinkering around with the programming languages that came with it, as I'm something of a programming junkie.

            If I did really work on it every day back then, it would take a few days to a week to get comfortable with it. But there is a good reason it took me so long to try other distros: I liked Red Hat then and didn't want to change. Nowadays if I find a distro that I find interesting, I've got no problems with whatever may be different, because it's still a Linux system and I know what to expect. After using several distros which are all good desktops(Mandriva, Slackware, Suse, MEPIS, Debian), I've settled on Ubuntu.

            And don't worry about the shell commands. You don't really need the shell if all you're doing is easy, basic stuff like office apps, e-mail, and web surfing. The only commands you really, <b>really</b> need are those that are basically DOS equivalents. You don't have to be a power user to use the shell, if needed.

            Learning any new OS takes time and patience, but the knowledge and confidence gained is well worth it. So again, there's no rush at all. When you're ready to try it out, feel free to ask for help if needed :)
            Tony Agudo
    • Heh. Of course, thete are many solutions.

      I use Firefox (or Links 0.99) at home myself on a box running OS/2 Warp 4. What's spyware? :-)
      rsteiner@...
      • Warp

        OS/2? Fine by me! ;)
        Your question is 'understandable'.
        And may the Schwartz be with you!

        Thanks rcsteiner!
        :)
        D T Schmitz
  • Got 6 out of 8

    I think I was just lucky! One criteria I use when looking at a website is to ask - What is there income generation model? No one sets up and maintains websites with downloads and free programs because they are altruistic. I was even paranoid of SiteAdvisor when I first saw it. What is their income generation model?
    shroutosaur@...
    • Good question

      "What is their income generation model?"

      The site doesn't really say and there are no ads on the site, which is refreshing. I'll try to find out.
      Suzi_z
  • 6 here - but some blind luck

    I got 6 right, but at least 2 of those were lucky guesses. Kazaa, for example, is infamous, and some of the other splash pages had clues to their malicious content - but some of the sites looked perfectly harmless; without a site analyzer to look behind the curtain, there was no way to tell. You can tell a lot about a site just by looking at the source, without an add-in - if you know what to look for. Most people wouldn't have a clue.
    fishellr
  • Safety in paranoia.

    I didn't do well on my test, mainly because I skipped a couple of questions believing that both sites they showed were malware-pushers.

    One site they showed, azlyrics.com, I know from personal experience. They like to use popups, but SiteAdvisor still consider them "green" (safe). Unfortunately, popups are one way malware-pushers like to deliver their garbage. I would have considered azlyrics.com "yellow" on the popups alone.

    Even with my firewalls, antiviruses, anti-spyware scanners, SiteAdvisor plugin, etc..., I still employ a bit of paranoia while surfing. Better safe than infected.
    Mr. Roboto
    • agreed

      You can leave comments on the site if you don't agree with their rating. I've left a couple of comments there myself. They also have feedback form.

      http://www.siteadvisor.com/feedback.html
      Suzi_z
  • Ain't shabby.

    6/8 myself. Got the lyrics and one of the clients wrong.
    TigerhawkVok