Avril Lavigne, Bruno Mars and Carly Rae Jepson are the most dangerous celebrities to search for online, McAfee reports.
Googling Avril Lavigne gets complicated.
The 90s pop-punk star is the most dangerous celebrity to search for online, according to cybersecurity firm McAfee.
The 11th annual Most Dangerous Celebrity report placed the “Complicated” singer songwriter at the top of the 2017 list, finding that online searches for her carry a 14.5% chance of leading you to a website that exposes you to malware or viruses. And that jumps to 22% if you search for “Avril Lavigne” and “free MP3” – or more than a 1 in 5 chance of landing on a malicious website.
McAfee suggests that recent buzz about Lavigne working on a new album (her last record came out in 2013), a recent E! Online feature story and an internet conspiracy that she’s been replaced with an impostor led to her topping this dubious chart, which drew from searches on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Lavigne has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, and is the second best-selling female artist in Canada of all time.
The other most dangerous celebrities online include Bruno Mars and Carly Rae Jepsen close behind in the second and third place spots, followed by Zayn Malik, Celine Dion, Calvin Harris, Justin Bieber, Diddy, Katy Perry and Beyoncé.
“In today’s digital world, we want the latest hit albums, videos, movies and more, immediately available on our devices,” explained Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee in a statement. He noted that this year’s list is composed entirely of musical artists. “Consumers often prioritize their convenience over security by engaging in risky behavior like clicking on suspicious links that promise the latest content from celebrities,” he said
Here are McAfee’s tips to thinking before clicking.
Skip sneak peeks. It’s safer to wait for the official release of a track or video than to visit a third-party website that could contain malware.
Don’t search “free MP3s” period. That phrase returned the highest number of risky websites. And only install media player software from trusted websites such as Apple.com, Microsoft.com, and Adobe.com
Update, update, update! Stay protected by updating your anti-virus programs and applying patches/updates to your device regularly.
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