She’s one of the biggest names in the music industry, but it seems that Avril Lavigne is more dangerous than ‘complicated’.
A new study has revealed the most dangerous celebrities to search for online that could potentially expose fans to malicious websites.
Several musicians feature alongside Avril Lavigne in the top ten, including Bruno Mars, Carly Rae Jepson and Katy Perry.
She’s one of the biggest names in the music industry, but it seems that Avril Lavigne is more dangerous than ‘Complicated’
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The study, conducted by McAfee and now in its 11th year, highlights the dangers of clicking on suspicious links when searching for celebrity-focused content.
Many of these sites can infect computers with viruses and malware.
It found that Avril Lavigne is the ‘most dangerous celebrity on the internet.’
While Lavigne was ranked number two in 2013, finishing behind Lily Collins, she topped the list this year, followed by Bruno Mars (No. 2) and Carly Rae Jepsen (No. 3).
Musicians Zayn Malik (No. 4), Celine Dion (No. 5), Calvin Harris (No. 6), Justin Bieber (No. 7), Diddy (No. 8), Katy Perry (No. 9) and Beyoncé (No. 10) round out the rest of the top 10 list.
Cybercriminals continue to use the fascination of consumers with celebrity culture to drive unsuspecting users to potentially malicious websites that can be used to install malware, steal personal information and even passwords, according to McAfee.
While Avril Lavigne was ranked number two in 2013, finishing behind Lily Collins, she topped the list this year, followed by Bruno Mars (pictured left) and Carly Rae Jepsen (pictured right)
Gary Davis, head of consumer security at McAfee said: ‘In today’s digital world, we want the latest hit albums, videos, movies and more, immediately available on our devices.
‘Consumers often prioritize their convenience over security by engaging in risky behavior like clicking on suspicious links that promise the latest content from celebrities.
‘It’s imperative that they slow down and consider the risks associated with searching for downloadable content.
Musicians Zayn Malik (pictured left), Celine Dion (pictured right), Calvin Harris, Justin Bieber, Diddy, Katy Perry and Beyoncé round out the rest of the top 10 list
Calvin Harris, who is known for his hit songs including ‘This Is What You Came For’ and ‘Summer’ was the sixth most dangerous celebrity on the list
‘Thinking before clicking goes a long way to stay safe online.’
McAfee determined the number of risky websites generated by searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo!, that included a celebrity name and search terms likely to yield potentially malicious websites in the results.
An overall risk percentage was calculated for each celebrity using the total number of risky websites divided by the number of search results returned.
HOW TO SEARCH SAFELY
McAfee hopes the findings will encourage people to stay safe online, and has given a list of time on how to search safely:
– Be careful what you click. Are you looking for a sneak-peak at Avril Lavigne’s rumored 2017 album? It’s better to wait for the official release than to visit a third-party website that could contain malware.
– Searching for free MP3s? Watch out! Searching for ‘free MP3’ returned the highest number of risky websites, so it’s important for consumers to be vigilant and ensure they are searching safely.
– Browse with security protection like McAfee WebAdvisor. This McAfee tool can help keep you safe by identifying malicious websites and warning the user before they click.
– Use cross-device protection. As our daily activities become more ingrained in our digital lives it’s important to keep everything protected. A comprehensive security solution, like McAfee Total Protection, can help ensure that your devices are protected against malware, phishing attacks and device-specific protection in the event of loss or theft.
‘Most dangerous’ really means that these celebrities are likely popular search subjects.
Search terms included: ‘Celebrity Name + free torrent’, ‘Celebrity Name + free mp4’, ‘Celebrity Name + free mp3’
The research found that searching for ‘Avril Lavigne free mp3’ resulted in a 22 per cent change of landing on a malicious website.
Several actors and actresses found their way onto the list, including Anna Kendrick (pictured left), and Jennifer Lopez (pictured right)
And while the 2017 list was dominated by searches for musicians, McAfee highlights that other celebrities can be risky to search for.
Several actors and actresses found their way onto the list, including Anna Kendrick (No. 13), Jennifer Lopez (No. 20), Hailee Steinfeld (No. 23), Will Smith (No. 34), Jackie Chan (No. 38), Vanessa Hudgens (No. 44), Teyana Taylor (No. 45), and Zendaya (No. 50).
McAfee hopes the findings will encourage people to stay safe online, and has given a list of time on how to search safely.
These include browsing with security protection, and using cross-device protection.