Heading to Google and searching for info about a favourite celebrity seems like a harmless activity — but a new study warns that some celeb Google searches carry high risks of exposing the searcher’s computer to viruses and malware.
According to a list compiled by cybersecurity software firm McAfee, Anna Kendrick is 2020’s most dangerous celebrity to search online, with those search results bringing the highest degree of potentially malicious content that could place fans’ personal information at risk by pointing them to sites that covertly infects their computers with malware.
Following Kendrick, the rest of the top-10 most dangerous celebs to search are Sean “Diddy” Combs, Blake Lively, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Jimmy Kimmel, Julia Roberts, Kate McKinnon and Jason Derulo.
“Many consumers don’t realize that simple internet searches of their favorite celebrities could potentially lead to malicious content, as cybercriminals often leverage these popular searches to entice fans to click on dangerous links,” notes McAfee. “This year’s study emphasizes that consumers are increasingly searching for content, especially as they look for new forms of entertainment to stream amidst a global pandemic.”
This, the firm notes, is particularly true of torrents or pirated downloads, which are often a source of malware. “If an unsuspecting user clicks on a malicious link while searching for their favourite celebrity film, their device could suddenly become plagued with adware or malware,” McAfee adds.