McAfee knows something about how dangerous celebrities can be online. After all, its quasi-celeb founder John McAfee posted a horrific NSFW video about the trials of uninstalling its software earlier this year.
But in a new list the antivirus company has released about the dangers of searching for celebrities online, it’s talking about spam, adware, spyware, trojan horses, and viruses … not brand damage.
The bad guys of the Internet target high-volume searches — and since celebrity searches are high volume, searching for celebs like actress Lily Collins gives you a 14.5 percent chance of clicking through to a page with some form of malware.
Katy Perry, by contrast, only offers a 10.4 percent chance of finding nasty, unexpected surprises.
The company has compiled a list of the top 10 most dangerous celebrities to search for online, and here it is, with the percentage of search results that contain spam or spyware:
- Lily Collins 14.5
- Avril Lavigne 12.7
- Sandra Bullock 10.8
- Kathy Griffin 10.6
- Zoe Saldana 10.5
- Katy Perry 10.4
- Britney Spears 10.1
- Jon Hamm 10.0
- Adrian Lima 9.9
- Emma Roberts 9.8
You are able to protect yourself, of course, with the application of simple common sense. Don’t click on links for “too-good-to-be-true” offers, McAfee suggests, and check the website address for clues like misspellings that can alert you to the fact that this is a fly-by-night operator. And, of course, the company suggests you protect yourself with a “comprehensive security” package — like its own — that warns you about risky sites before you click.
Google does a pretty good job, in my experience, of identifying and warning about malware sites. But I suppose a little extra protection couldn’t hurt.