Ever googled your favorite celebrity? According to new research conducted by web security business McAfee, losing yourself in a search-engine black hole looking up the famous people of the world could put your computer/tablet/phone at serious risk of malware and other harmful, ~techy~ things.
As reported by IFL Science, while Celine Dion comes in at number five on the most dangerous list, it’s Canadian singer Avril Lavigne who takes out the top spot of most dangerous celebrity on the internet? McAfee says, cybercriminals know what we’re looking for when searching celebrities online; we’re looking for celebrity gossip, we’re tracking down new music, and we’re even hitting up the stars’ own websites and blogs.
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“They’re capitalizing on that by weaving in sneaky cyberthreats within celebrity sites,” McAfee explains. The most dangerous celebrities on the internet include Celine Dion, Avril Lavinge, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and Beyoncé.
But, why? Okay, remember those never confirmed reports that Avril, well, sort of, died in 2003 and been replaced by someone only known as “Melissa?” Well, it’s outlandish theories like this that can lead people to all sorts of strange sites on the internet. Not only that but in 2016 when Avril announced she would be releasing new music in 2017, fans took to the internet to search every and any site to find a downloadable track of Avril’s unreleased music.
McAfee suggests you can dodge cybercriminals by being careful what you click. Are you looking for a sneak-peak at an album? It’s best to wait for the official release than to visit a third-party website that could contain malware. Searching for free MP3s? Be careful! Searching for “free MP3” returned the highest number of risky websites, so it’s important for consumers to be vigilant and ensure they are searching safely. If a website comes up that doesn’t seem trustworthy, avoid paying it a visit. Always browse with security protection. Whether you’re eager to learn more about your favorite artist’s background, or just discover new music, it’s important that you search the web safely.
This article was written by Ellie McDonald and originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.