Research Rates Most Dangerous On-Line Celebrities

In the age of the Internet of Things it is easier than ever to keep track of your favourite stars, however it may be a cyber mistake.

On line protection firm McAfee has issued its annual top ten list of the celebrities you really do not want to follow on line as they are the most likely to see a search open the user to cyber-attack.

Actress Alexis Bledel, best known for her role as Rory Gilmore in television’s “Gilmore Girls,” tops McAfee’s US list of most dangerous celebrities to search for online. In the UK it is Caroline Flack (below) who a search for is viewed as the most likely to see followers directed to bogus sites. For the thirteenth year, McAfee researched which famous individuals generate the riskiest results that could potentially expose their fans to malicious websites and viruses.

James Cordon was ranked number two in the US and number three in the UK, while Game of Thrones (above) stars featured heavily. In the UK Maisie Williams was ranked at two and in the US Sophie, Turner was at number three.

McAfee said: “The truth is consumers are faced with endless options to feed their obsession with celebrities. They are interacting with content across multiple devices and conducting potentially dangerous searches across the internet to find the latest information or gossip without fear of consequence. For cybercriminals, this creates a field day to lure unsuspecting consumers to malicious websites that may install malware or steal personal information and passwords.”

“Consumers may not be fully aware that the searches they conduct pose risk, nor may they understand the detrimental effects that can occur when personal information is compromised in exchange for access to their favourite celebrities, movies, TV shows or music,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee. “Criminals use deceptive websites to dupe unsuspecting consumers into accessing malicious files or content. It is essential that consumers learn to protect their digital lives from lurking cybercriminals by thinking twice before they click on suspicious links or download content.”

While users are increasingly looking at “free” options to avoid paying a subscription fee McAfee warned it’s important for these viewers to understand the risks associated with torrent or pirated downloads, as they may open up themselves to savvy cybercriminals and end up having a much higher cost to pay.