Site Report Definitions

Summary Page

Summary is our overall rating for the website. A site rating is our opinion of a website's reputation. The site rating is based on our interpretation of a variety of test results that we believe provide the best indication of a site's reputation over time.

We test sites for downloads, browser exploits, e-mail, phishing, e-commerce, pop-ups and cookies and affiliations with other sites.

We use proprietary techniques to visit and test sites. We then analyze the resulting data and present it to users in the form of colored icons.

Tested daily for hacker vulnerabilities.
Very low or no risk issues found.
Minor risk issues found.
Serious risk issues found.
Not yet rated. Use caution.

Country indicates where a domain is registered.

Popularity indicates how many visitors a website gets. High traffic does not always indicate low risk. For example, giving your e-mail to a very popular prize site can result in lots of spam, and installing a popular file-sharing program can come with bundled adware. Likewise, many personal websites, blogs and small business sites that do not get a lot of traffic can be safe to browse and use.

E-mail indicates our overall opinion of a website's e-mail practices. The e-mail test used by SiteAdvisor technology is an "action-result" test. The action is providing a unique e-mail address to forms found on the site; the result is the e-mail received. McAfee's e-mail test does not attempt to identify the reasons for, or the source of, the emails. We simply count the e-mail received by that address and score it for spam-like characteristics.

Downloads indicates our overall opinion of a website's downloadable files. We test downloadable software that is hosted by and directly linked to from a site. We use our award-winning McAfee anti-virus engine to determine if the file includes malware, such as viruses, Trojans, and adware and other types of potentially unwanted programs. We also test for program behaviors that we deem to be risky or merit a cautionary note. Behaviors can include resetting the browser's home page, adding toolbars or desktop shortcuts or contacting 3rd party Web servers. Based on these results, we score the site's downloads accordingly.

Online Affiliations indicates our overall opinion of a website's linking practices. We collect information about the URL links posted on a site to determine whether the site is affiliated or effectively directing traffic to another site. We rate a site based on our estimation of the risk users could experience if they used these links to be led to other risky sites.

Annoyances indicates our overall opinion of a website's pop-up practices. When we visit a site, we record how many pop-ups occur and how many cookies we receive. In addition, we monitor prompts to change a browser's home and search page settings. The presence or cookies is only noted. Cookies do not affect a site's score.

Exploits are rare but extremely dangerous security threats caused by a website "exploiting" a security vulnerability in the browser. We perform tests to detect the presence of exploits on a site. An exploit is any content that forces a web browser to perform operations that the user does not explicitly intend.

Web reputation McAfee tests websites for web reputation using the TrustedSource system. This system collects security data from tens of millions of sensors located in more than 120 countries. McAfee's proprietary technology analyzes traffic and linking patterns, website behavior, content analysis, site registration and hosting, to develop an overall reputation rating for the website.

Reviewer and Site Owner Comments lets consumers and site owners provide additional information and commentary to supplement our opinions and test results.

Results summarizes the comments of consumers and site owners.

Website owner comments allows owners of analyzed websites to comment on our opinions. Owners are free to comment, disagree or clarify. These comments are posted unedited. We quickly review all site owner concerns and promptly correct mistakes. We don't allow sites to pay to be rated or to change or improve their ratings. Site owners who wish to communicate with McAfee should start by visiting our Webmaster page.

Reviewer comments shows what your fellow users have to say about this website. These comments are posted unedited except to remove profanity.

E-mail Analysis Page

We rate sites based on both how much e-mail we receive as a result of the sign-up as well as the spamminess of the e-mail received. We use unique e-mail addresses for each and every sign-up form we encounter. This allows us to know which exact sign up form caused us to receive each individual e-mail, even if e-mails are sent from different senders.

How Much Email describes both the volume and spamminess of the e-mail we received as a result of registering at this website.

The volume number you see is the weekly or monthly average quantity of e-mails we received since we signed up.

The score you see is a measure of an e-mail's content and technical practices. We measure an e-mail's commercial content and whether the e-mail employs tricks known to be used by spammers attempting to get through anti-spam filters. Low or negative numbers indicate low or no spamminess in the e-mails received. Higher numbers indicate increasing spamminess.

Red or yellow ratings for e-mail practices do not mean that site is in violation of a spam-prevention law such as the United States CAN-SPAM Act. By design, when McAfee tests a site for e-mail practices, we accept most default settings and terms during registration. As such, much of the e-mail McAfee receives – even e-mail that many observers might classify as "spam" may be technically in compliance with CAN-SPAM.

Sample Inbox shows selections of actual e-mails we received after registering at this site. The subject headlines and "Sender" addresses are real, though slightly abbreviated and masked to obscure any identifying information.

Download Analysis Page

This page summarizes our test results of one or more of the programs the SiteAdvisor technology found available for download on the reviewed site. For each file we test, we provide a summary of those results for each program. For each download found, we automatically install it and test it on a fresh computer. A site must have at least one red flagged download to earn its own red site rating. Sites that aggregate dozens, hundreds or even thousands of downloads are special cases where the site rating can be red, yellow, or even green depending upon the specific circumstances.

Overall Findings summarizes the results of our download tests. For example, we look for the digital signatures of programs that some people consider to be spyware, adware or other unwanted programs. We document what, if any, modifications the download made to our browser settings, registry and hard drive. And we show what network servers were contacted.

Nuisance Score measures how the reviewed program changed our browsing experience, if at all. When we find a program that bundles a particular piece of software, we list the name of that program along with a link to description. We synthesize this data into a proprietary "nuisance score" that gives you an at-a-glance guide to help you evaluate the potential risks of o downloading a program. Programs are scored from zero to 10. Low scores result from minor nuisances like changed home pages. Higher scores result from the presence of viruses or bundled software that some consider unwanted. Bundling more than one low-score nuisance can push a download into the red zone as well.

How does it modify my system? answers some of the most common questions many expert computer users ask about downloadable software. When we installs a download onto a clean computer, we track in exact detail the changes the program makes to that computer's registry and hard drive. Often, malicious or annoying software can be identified by its digital "signature", a unique set of changes it makes to a computer's software. In addition, we note any new buttons, toolbars, or other modifications made to our test browser, along with any icons added to our desktop. Finally, we look at what new programs are set to run every time our system is started.

Network activity tracks whether the downloaded software communicated with other computers on the Internet during our test. We identify which of these network servers are contacted.

Other information is a collection of additional data we've assembled about the software. The title of the download is taken from the program itself. Where possible, we try to provide you with the URL of the creator of the program. The creator is often different than the distributor. We also provide a direct hyperlink to the download. "Program ID" and "Full Checksum" are unique SiteAdvisor identifiers and help us catalog our data and your input about our analysis. When possible, we also provide you with the date of our download testing to help you determine whether the current download you're seeking advice about has been updated since our tests.