Trend Micro Releases Free Tool to Tackle Misinformation


Cybersecurity solutions provider Trend Micro this week announced the release of a free tool designed to help users boost their privacy online and fight misinformation.

Dubbed Trend Micro Check, the new tool seeks to help users stay protected from privacy violations, false claims, and disinformation.

The launch of this tool, Trend Micro says, was prompted by the avalanche of misinformation that is being published online. The company, which has been looking into the matter for several years, previously launched Trend Micro Check in Japan and Taiwan.

The new version brought to the United States, however, also includes a new feature from NewsGuard, offering trust ratings for a multitude of news sites.

The new tool includes a Security Check that leverages threat intelligence to verify whether a website or URL is fraudulent or infected, as well as a Privacy Check that makes use of Trend Micro’s ID Security service to verify whether a user’s email address has been put up for sale on the dark web.

Other capabilities of the tool include Fact Check, which takes advantage of the Google Fact Check API to access information from third-party fact-checking sites and verify the trustworthiness of content, and News Reputation Check, which delivers information on whether news and information websites should be trusted, based on nine basic, apolitical criteria.

Trend Micro Check, the company says, can perform complete detection in real-time, helping users act quickly based on the results. Since its initial release in Japan and Taiwan two-and-a-half years ago, the tool has been used 1.35 billion times to fight misinformation and fraud.

Trend Micro has made the new tool available in the U.S. for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Google Chrome (as an extension).

“Our society is facing one of its greatest challenges today in the publication and re-sharing of misinformation. We hope this latest tool will offer users an additional safety net and supplemental resources to stay safe online, which will further provide a basis for them to evaluate what they’re reading online and whether the sites they’re visiting can be trusted or not,” Lynette Owens, founder and global director of Trend Micro’s Internet Safety for Kids and Families (ISKF) program, said.

Related: Facebook Launches ‘War Room’ to Combat Manipulation

Related: WhatsApp Tightens Sharing Limits to Curb Virus Misinformation

Related: Cyborgs, Trolls and Bots: A Guide to Online Misinformation

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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