Celebrity Names Dangerous For Web Security

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Miley Cyrus (credit: Getty Images)


SANTA CLARA (CBS SF/AP) – Did you Google Miley Cyrus’s name in the wake of the twerking scandal? If so, you might have compromised your Internet security, says the security firm McAfee. The company just released a list of the most dangerous celebrity name searches. Cyrus isn’t at the top of the list — she ranks 20th — but she’s on there.

Lily Collins (credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Lily Collins (credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)


Lily Collins, star of “Mirror, Mirror” and “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” tops the list as the most dangerous celeb to search for online. Emma Watson ranked highest last year.

The danger lies in where the search leads you. Searching for Collins posed the biggest risk of landing on a malicious site, according to McAfee. The unknowing consumers are led to sites laden with malware that quickly steals passwords and personal information.

The risk of landing on an insecure site is as high as 14.5 percent when searching for Collins.

The Santa Clara-based company started compiling the list of actors, musicians, comedians and personalities 2007. Nine of the top 10 most dangerous celebrities to search for are women. Jon Hamm, star of “Mad Men,” is the lone male. Musicians make of 9 of the top 20 names, including Justin Timberlake at No. 12.

The most dangerous times to search are around award shows and TV and movie premieres, the company said.

“Today’s consumers often are completely unaware of security risks when searching for celebrity and entertainment news, images and videos online, sacrificing safety for immediacy,” Paula Greve, director of web security research at McAfee, said in a press release. “Cybercriminals prey on consumers’ addiction to breaking news and leverage this behavior to lead them to unsafe sites that can severely infect their computers and devices and steal personal data.”

Avril Lavigne and Sandra Bullock ranked second and third, followed by Kathy Griffin, Zoe Saldana, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Adriana Lima, and Emma Roberts.

A person could be led to malware after doing a general search and clicking on dubious links, but risks increased when searchers added phrases like “free apps” or “nude photos.”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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