McAfee reveals Lily Collins, Avril Lavigne and Sandra Bullock searches most likely to infect computers.
Lily Collins, daughter of Phil Collins and star of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Mirror, Mirror, has replaced Emma Watson as McAfee’s 2013 most dangerous celebrity to search for online.
The McAfee Most Dangerous Celebrities global study researches popular culture’s most famous people to reveal the riskiest actors, musicians, comedians, and personalities on the web.
This year, searching for a celebrity name with "free app download" and "nude pictures" as part of the search term resulted in the highest result of risky sites. McAfee also found that, for a second year in a row, women are more dangerous than men, with nine of the top ten being female. Following Lily Collins, Avril Lavigne takes the number two spot and Sandra Bullock comes in third. Jon Hamm is the only male to make the top 10 list this year.
"We have got used to accessing the latest gossip and pictures of our favourite celebrities on demand," commented Raj Samani, CTO, McAfee EMEA. "But we need to remember that cybercriminals take advantage of the latest cultural trends, new movies and hit TV shows to target unsuspecting consumers seeking more information. These criminals want to lure us to unsafe sites that can severely infect computers and devices and even steal personal data."
The top 10 celebrities from this year’s study with the highest percentages of risk are:
McAfee research found that searching for the latest Lily Collins pictures and downloads yields more than a 14.5% chance of landing on a website that has tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware.
McAfee also revealed that One Direction members, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles were dangerous celebrities to search for, with 4.8% and 4.2% risk respectively. This could be linked to the craze among their fans of "shipping Larry Stylinson", where fans share art and fiction online based on the rumour that Harry and Louis are involved in a romance or bromance.
Emma Watson, Jessica Biel, and Megan Fox have all dropped out of this year’s list (in 2012 they ranked No. 1, No. 2, and No. 6, respectively).
McAfee advises that to stay protected, web users should beware of content that prompts you to download anything before you can access it. Where possible, try to stream or download videos from the official websites.
If searching for information on a major event or celebrity in the news, ensure device protection to protect connected devices.