McAfee SiteAdvisor

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McAfee SiteAdvisor
File:McAfee SiteAdvisor Logo.png
File:SiteAdvisor Wesbite.png
The McAfee SiteAdvisor Website showing the review for Wikipedia
Developer(s) McAfee
Initial release April 2005
Operating system Cross-platform

SiteAdvisor is a service that reports on the safety of web sites by crawling the web and testing the sites it finds for malware and spam. The service was originally developed by SiteAdvisor, Inc, an MIT startup[1] first presented at CodeCon on February 10, 2006[2] and acquired by McAfee[3] on April 5, 2006.


SiteAdvisor Plus

A paid version of McAfee SiteAdvisor, McAfee SiteAdvisor Plus, has extra features. The functionality of SiteAdvisor can be accessed either through a Browser Plugin or by submitting a URL to the website.

Extra features of McAfee SiteAdvisor

  • Rates email and IM links
  • Indicates sites potentially harmful to your computer
  • Alerts users to possible phishing and identity theft scams
  • Redirects you away from red and yellow sites (if protected mode is enabled).


False positives

SiteAdvisor has received criticism for incorrectly flagging web sites with a caution or warning label.[4][5][6]

False negatives

The very nature of SiteAdvisor and the long periods between site crawls mean that even if the SiteAdvisor tests were 100% accurate a Green rating offers no guarantee of safety. Malicious code and browser exploits often spread fast over large numbers of websites,[7] meaning a Green rating may not be up to date and may provide a false sense of security.

Communication and accountability

In the event of a positive result website owners are not contacted. Although a dispute resolution service does exist, the final decision rests with McAfee.[8] In the event that a perceived threat is removed from a site the site's rating will return to Green through a process called 'ageingout'. Depending on the nature of the threat this process can take from 10 days to a year after the site is re-crawled, no strict timetable is provided.[9]


  • Time magazine named among the 50 coolest websites of 2006.[10]
  • Popular Science awarded SiteAdvisor the "Best of What's New" award in the Computing category for 2006.[11]
  • PC World ranked SiteAdvisor at #15 in "The 100 Best Products of 2007."[12]

See also


  1. "McAfee acquires MIT startup SiteAdvisor at Digital...". 
  2. "CodeCon 2006 Program". 
  3. Dixon, Chris (2006-09-05). "Taking SiteAdvisor to the Next Level". Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  4. "Malware Advisor". Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  5. "McAfee SiteAdvisor gives yellow warning rating". Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  6. "McAfee SiteAdvisor gives Bitsum Technologies a RED rating due to false alarm on developer utility". Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  7. "PC-pwning infection hits 30,000 legit websites". Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  8. "What is the process for disputing my site's rating?". Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  9. "How long does it take for my site rating to change? Can I ask to be re-tested more quickly?". Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  10. "SiteAdvisor's entry in Time's 50 coolest websites of 2005".,8599,1222614,00.html#mcafeesiteadvisor. Retrieved 2006-10-13. 
  11. "SiteAdvisor's entry in Popular Science's Best of What's New 2006". Retrieved 2007-04-20. 
  12. "PC World's list of "The 100 Best Products of 2007"".,131935-page,13/article.html. Retrieved 2007-05-23. 

External links

nl:McAfee SiteAdvisor ja:SiteAdvisor pt:SiteAdvisor zh:SiteAdvisor

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