The web may be changing our lives for the best, but all these opportunities also come with great danger. That is because it also opens doors to hackers and malicious software. Nothing that a bit of smart surfing can’t fix, but we have all experienced some bad situations when it comes to viruses, malware, phishing and more.

A good antivirus can go a long way in helping our computers and personal information stay secure, but Avast! has a little something extra for us. Not only will this free antivirus software keep your computer secure from malicious software, it will also lead you in the right direction while surfing the web.

The Avast! WebRep extension was introduced to Chrome last year when Avast! version 6.0 was released. This does happen to be a company exclusive, though, so the only way to get the plug-in is by downloading Avast! to use as your antivirus. This is a shame, though. We find this extension to be extremely helpful and would love to see it offered separately via the Chrome Web Store.

With this extension, Chrome, Firefox and IE users are able to identify which sites are secure. Similar to Avast!’s other products, this happens to be a community effort. One can vote and rate websites based on experiences and preferences, as well as security (of course).

Upon reaching a website, the extension displays the appropriate rating. More details and voting options can be accessed upon clicking the extension’s icon. These ratings are also displayed in search engines, next to each link displayed, ensuring one does not access a malicious site before it’s too late.

I have been using this extension for a few weeks now. I can’t say it has saved me yet, as my surfing habits are safe enough to keep me guarded from viruses. But it is a relief to see those ratings before accessing sites when searching random topics on Google.

Avast! has a very active community, so most sites will have at least a few votes. If you would like to try Avast! Antivirus and its WebRep extension, you can go ahead and download them from their site.

Don’t forget to let us know what you think of this extension! Do you know of any other similar (or better) services we should check out? Blast off in the comments.