The practice of unbridled clicking becomes riskier for Web searchers focused by so-called "sponsored results," the paid ads that appear alongside targeted search engine results, the company found. Nearly 7 percent of all sponsored ads brought clickers to risky sites, according to the study.More info at Washington Post.
The study was meant to highlight McAfee's free SiteAdvisor tool. The free add-on for the Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers tries to give Web surfers a bit more intelligence about the safety of following links returned by the Web's top five search engines.
With the software installed, each search result listing is accompanied by a small color-coded, green, yellow, or red icon. SiteAdvisor occasionally will give a question mark to a site it hasn't developed an opinion about that site's security. A green check mark next to a result shows that the software hasn't encountered anything questionable about the site. McAfee grades sites with a yellow X to encourage a Web surfer to use caution. If a SiteAdvisor-aided search result earns a red X, McAfee has received reports of scammy, spammy or outright malicious activity emanating from the site.
7% of sponsored links are dangerous
Posted on Saturday, Jun 09 2007 @ 17:30 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
A study from McAfee found that seven percent of all sponsored links bring clickers to unsafe websites and for the most popular search results it's 4 percent: