Avril Lav­i­gne is the ‘most dan­ger­ous celebrity on the in­ter­net’ – McAfee

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - TECH TALK - SHIVALI BEST

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 Lav­i­gne in the top 10, in­clud­ing Bruno Mars, Carly Rae Jep­son and Katy Perry.

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 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.

Cy­ber-crim­i­nals 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.

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 pri­ori­tise their con­ve­nience over se­cu­rity by en­gag­ing in risky be­hav­iour 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.

“Think­ing be­fore click­ing goes a long way to stay safe on­line,” he said.

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. – Daily Mail

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