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Scandoo

Friday, June 30th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Scandoo

When we perform searches on the Internet, we sometimes don’t get the results we were hoping for, do we? This has changed quite a bit with the creation of Google, but even as you read this, there are loopholes out there waiting to suck the next Internet user in.

These loopholes consist primarily of spyware, viruses and other offensive content. While the former two are a matter of concern for everyone, the latter can have grave significance for those of us who have children at home using the computer. There’s too much inappropriate content being sprayed around on the Web and it doesn’t take more than a click or two on Google to access it.

Someone very wise thought of situations like that as a potential threat and came up with Scandoo (www.scandoo.com). Scandoo is a free service that helps identify the above three perils. Most of us already have antivirus and spyware software monitoring our computers, so what use could you possibly have for Scandoo? Well, keep reading to find out!

First of all, Scandoo works in a complete different manner than anything else. When you use it to search, it first scans the results for any malicious content. It classifies each site into a different category as well. For example, sexual content sites, gambling sites, etc. If the site contains anything harmful, it gives you a danger warning.

Getting started with it is very simple. Before you can use it, you just need to configure your security settings. Click on the link at the top of the page that says Security Preferences. This will take you to the spot where you can personalize your settings. Essentially, it displays different categories of Web sites that you might find offensive, so you can select the ones that you dislike the most and Scandoo will flag them for you. It also has an option called “Family Guardian,” which quickly selects the settings with the aim of keeping offensive information away from children who use the search engines.

Once you do this, click on Save Settings and it will bring you back to the homepage where you can start using Scandoo. You can select different search engines where your search will be performed. Once it brings up the results, Scandoo uses a traffic light system to warn you of potentially damaging content.

In the above scenario, I searched for “Stock picks.” Scandoo presented many results, some of which you can see in the image above. Now, here’s how you interpret the traffic lights. A red X obviously means the Web site is not appropriate. A green check means the Web site is okay for your clicking pleasure and an orange question marks means that sufficient information is not available for that particular site. To get more information about a result, you can simply roll your mouse over to the traffic light and you will be greeted with a popup, providing you more information.

You also have the option of redefining a Web site. If you are an avid user of that certain Web site or if you feel a site has been wrongly classified, you can redefine it. By redefining, you are notifying the Scandoo folks of a possible mistake.

Removing offensive information from the Internet needs a bigger war than WW1 and II combined, but with tools like Scandoo, it’s making our lives just a little bit easier.

Go give it a spin!

~ Yogesh Bakshi

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