Yahoo! wants to make search safer

Yahoo! announced the beta release of SearchScan, a new search feature that helps protect users from viruses, spyware and spam. They partnered with McAfee to build a feature that provides a safer and hassle-free search experience to all users.

SearchScan leverages McAfee’s SiteAdvisor technology to alert users if risky websites appear in Yahoo! Search results. Starting today, SearchScan will be turned on by default for all users in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Spain, and will scan for three types of risks in the search index:

  • Browser Exploits – These are sites that can stealthily harm a user’s computer or install malware simply by visiting the site. Beginning today, any such sites or pages included in McAfee’s data will be removed from search results automatically.
  • Dangerous Downloads – SearchScan will display warnings next to search results for sites that offer potentially dangerous software, such as viruses, spyware or adware. Users often may be unaware that these can be passed along with the screensavers, games and other software downloads.
  • Unsolicited Email – SearchScan will alert users to scanned sites that send unsolicited emails or inappropriately share email addresses with third parties.

While SearchScan will be on by default, users have control over how they use the feature. In preferences, users can choose to turn the feature off or choose to filter out all sites with warnings from their search results.

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