Relax…Yahoo Is Protecting You

Yahoo today announced the launch of it’s new search feature SearchScan. It’s a joint venture between Yahoo and McAfee (the anti-virus guys). In a nutshell the new feature will flag any search results whos webpages contain malicious or dubious scripts that could do harm to your computer.

Any site that is thought to be bad will show up with a red icon next to it warning that it could potentially harm your computer.

The way it works is that it uses McAfee’s Site Advisor technology which basically scans a website looking for any javascript or code that tries to execute from your browser to install the dodgy software. I’m all for this type of warnings, but don’t know why they don’t go one step further and disable the link or remove it from the directory completely. We all know that there are click-freaks out there that will click on every link in every email, so they’ll still go ahead and click on these flagged sites.

The type of sites that it will flag through the Site Advisor technology include:

  • Browser Exploits – thankfully any site with these are all removed from the listing, but no indication is given on how often sites are monitored to see if they have been exploited
  • Sites offering dangerous downloads – that innocent screensaver could be a gateway in to your computer for hackers. so here’s a tip…don’t download screensavers!
  • Spamming sites – sites that have been found to engage in UCE (that’s spam to you and me) – which is good!

If all this sounds very familiar to you, then worry not, our friends at the big-G have been doing this for years! So, well done Yahoo, you’ve proven once again to be able to copy Google on innovative ideas ;) Well, at least they are further ahead than the lumbering giant of Microsoft – I thought Live was going to be the Google killer?!


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