Trend Micro's free web-based tool takes on hackers and fake news

fake news

Cyber security software company Trend Micro has announced the US launch of Trend Micro Check, a free online tool that warns users of online misinformation. The tool was previously available only in Japan and Taiwan.

Trend Micro designed the tool to keep people safe from a myriad of growing cyber security threats, including privacy violations, false claims and online misinformation.

How Trend Micro Check works

When you submit a URL to Trend Micro Check via chat, it analyzes the website for signs of fraud or malware. If you submit a link to a news story or simply enter a news topic, Trend Micro Check uses the Google Fact Check API to present findings from online fact-checkers. It also ranks the news sources’ trustworthiness via its partnership with NewsGuard.

You can also paste your email address into the chat, and the software will warn you if your email address, password or username is on dark web marketplaces.

If you’re using the Google Chrome extension, you can get updates on the sites you visit or highlight paragraphs on the site to check if it’s fake or misleading news.

Many similar solutions exist on the market, but Trend Micro claims its offering is different because it can “perform real-time total detection all in one place” and gives “consumers the ability to act quickly based on the results.”

You can chat with Trend Micro Check via Facebook Messenger, the Trend Micro Check website or WhatsApp, or download it as a Google Chrome extension.

Lynette Owens, founder and global director of Trend Micro’s Internet Safety for Kids and Families (ISKF) program, said: “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.”

Fake news feature

Unlike the Japanese and Taiwanese versions of Trend Micro Check, the US tool integrates with NewsGuard’s fact-checking technology, allowing users to identify fake news easily.

Steven Brill, co-CEO of NewsGuard, said: “Our human intelligence team is pleased to partner with Trend Micro as it takes this important step to root out the online misinformation creating a global ‘infodemic.”

“NewsGuard’s addition to Trend Micro Check will give people the context they need to decide which news sources to trust and which to take with a grain of salt.”

Nicholas Fearn is a freelance technology journalist and copywriter from the Welsh valleys. His work has appeared in publications such as the FT, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, the Next Web, T3, Android Central, Computer Weekly, and many others. He also happens to be a diehard Mariah Carey fan. You can follow Nicholas on Twitter.