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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.

Lilly Collins

Above: Lilly Collins

Image Credit: GabboT

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:

  1. Lily Collins 14.5
  2. Avril Lavigne 12.7
  3. Sandra Bullock 10.8
  4. Kathy Griffin 10.6
  5. Zoe Saldana 10.5
  6. Katy Perry 10.4
  7. Britney Spears 10.1
  8. Jon Hamm 10.0
  9. Adrian Lima 9.9
  10. 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.

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