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Former Member
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Webmasters A Must Read on McAfee Site Advisor!

McAfee Site Advisor Works Like This!!!

Because I’m not totally sure how McAfee SiteAdvisor works, I’ve come to my own conclusions which I’ve laid out below. I’m not a fan of this product and have zero respect for their so called ‘Team’, but that aside, as a webmaster I like to keep abreast of any virtual company who takes it upon themselves to issue reports to the world on projects they are not directly involved in, and owners of projects they have never had any personal contact or remote association with.

If these assumptions are partially or totally wrong, anyone with any inside information on the workings of this McAfee product/service, please correct me for the benefit of all concerned, including we webmasters.

  1. McAfee SiteAdvisor automatically trawls the World Wide Wed testing sites at random and ranking them as appropriate for the benefit of the world’s surfers.

  2. Anyone can submit any person’s website for testing irrespective of whether they have any knowledge of that person or any association to their project.

  3. McAfee SiteAdvisor is neither obliged to, nor do they, ever contact any webmaster to inform them of any red flags which they’ve attached to their websites. In fact, because the process is automated, they have no knowledge of which sites are tested and which are not.

  4. McAfee SiteAdvisor staff is totally aware that by flagging any web project with a red review could directly have a negative impact on that projects business if commercial, and also damage the web credibility of the webmaster for both commercial and personal websites.

  5. McAfee SiteAdvisor understands that there are occasions when a report is just plain wrong. There are plenty of complaints world wide to support this fact as decent white hat webmasters try to clear their site’s ‘bad’ status.

  6. If McAfee SiteAdvisor automatically tests a site today, and flags it as red, it will never retest it again unless an application for a re-test is submitted to their support department (see below). Therefore, unless a webmaster picks up on this red rating, he may be totally unaware of it and could be baffled as to why his visitors numbers, and or sales, are dropping.

  7. McAfee SiteAdvisor understand that one of the biggest (if not the biggest!) threat to surfer safety today is that of identity theft done though phishing websites. Yet for some reason McAfee SiteAdvisor offers no protection or alerts against such practices.

  8. McAfee SiteAdvisor only tests a site once ever unless a retest is submitted via their online form. This means that if a site is given the green tick of approval today, it might be riddled with spam, scam, and browser security issues tomorrow, yet will always display as a safe site to visit for subscribers of McAfee SiteAdvisor.

  9. McAfee SiteAdvisor have formal procedures for submitting a site for re-test, and for complaints and suggestions etc, but they have not committed to a response time for any of the above.

    (It appears their online support system has been broken for at least 8 months, but probably even a year or more. There have been no alternative methods offered to worried webmasters attempting to get in touch, and no formal announcement made concerning the support issue made on their web pages!)

My conclusion, and it’s only based on not knowing, is that this McAfee product/service is a good idea in theory, but it’s not doable in practice. It's just too flawed and disrespectful to genuine webmasters. In fact it's little more than a gimmick which is promoted using fear as an important selling tool. It might even be illegal to name and shame websites and their owners without first giving them a chance to respond to the accusations that they have uploaded web projects which could be harmful to visitors?

McAfee SiteAdvisor will be only too aware that there are many sites worldwide which get hijacked by cyber criminals, and attacked server side by hackers who plant all sorts of bugs and viruses into vulnerable hosting accounts.

There will inevitably be tens of thousands, if not millions of unsuspecting white hat webmasters worldwide who fail to get a green tick of approval from SiteAdvisor, but may not understand why. Worse still, many will not even know they are accused of owning a site which is potentially harmful to visitors, and the longer they are left in the dark, the more their web credibility and site popularity goes down the pan.

If anyone reading this thinks it’s total baloney, you’re probably right. But when folks don’t know and can’t get any kind of official support, one can only assume. If McAfee care anything about user feedback, then we should see some kind of response from someone in the know.

I look forward to any formal clarification on any of the above.

Best regards

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