An internet download has been launched to help web users to flag up email phishing attacks and also censor offensive spam.

Available from CipherTrust, the TrustedSource Toolbar is able to check the reputation of emails sent to your PC thus identifying spam and phishing email senders.

The software is compatible with Lotus Notes and also Outlook email applications and checks incoming mail before displaying a red frowning face for bogus correspondence or a green happy face for genuine emails.

Reports suggest that the company is also busy working on a web browser version of the toolbar, which would be compatible with email services such as Gmail or Hotmail.

Michael Osterman, Osterman Research spokesman, said: “The TrustedSource Toolbar is a very useful tool for end users to report spam and phishing attacks and to determine the reputation of e-mails sent from unknown or suspect sources.

“The real time nature of reputation reporting for every e-mail in an inbox gives users another source of information on which to base their decisions about the legitimacy of the e-mail they receive.”

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