Did you know that searching for your favourite celebrities online may very well increase your chance of running into trouble?
For the thirteenth year running, McAfee has put together its Most Dangerous Celebrities List which includes the celebrities who generate the riskiest search results that could potentially expose their fans to malicious websites and viruses. And, as usual, Aussies feature!!
Who Are the Riskiest Aussie Celebrities?
After a tumultuous year in and out of love, Liam Hemsworth – Aussie actor and ex-husband of popstar Miley Cyrus – has taken out top honours as the most dangerous Australian born celebrity coming in at 19th place on the list. Rose Byrne, Cate Blanchett and Kylie Minogue also feature on the list coming in at 37th, 41st and 52nd place respectively.
Talk Show Hosts Top the List
While previous years have seen Reality TV stars, such as The Kardashians, top of the list, in 2019 – it’s all about talk show hosts. In fact, there are 4 talk show hosts in the top 10. John Oliver takes out 1st place, followed by James Corden in 4th place, Jimmy Kimmel in 6th place and Jimmy Fallon in 10thplace.
Whether it’s their karaoke singing or their viral views on politics, our fascination with charismatic talk show hosts is clearly very strong. McAfee’s research also shows that the names of these 4 hosts are strongly associated with the search term ‘torrent’. This indicates people may be trying to avoid paying expensive subscriptions to view these cult shows and are pursuing free yet riskier alternatives.
Singers Are Also Proving Risky!
English singer Dua Lipa came in at no 2 on the list, followed by Scottish singer/DJ Calvin Harris in 5th place and teen favourite Billie Eilish at no 7. Our quest for immediate or free content about our favourite singers could mean that we visit sites purposefully designed by cybercriminals to extract our personal information or even better, our credit card details!
And then there’s Game of Thrones
The world’s love affair with Game of Thrones saw Emilia Clarke take out the 9th spot in this year’s list of risky celebs to search for online. Clarke, who played Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO fantasy series, was joined by Hollywood royalty Morgan Freeman in the top 10 list.
Cybercriminals Capitalise on Our Love for Celebrities
Our love of ‘all things celebrity’ has clearly not escaped the attention of cybercriminals with many spending a lot of time
and energy creating malicious websites designed to trick consumers into visiting. Whether it’s the promise of a ‘sneak-peak’ of the latest Star Wars movie, or free access to full episodes of a favourite American talk show, consumers will often drop their guard in favour of speed or convenience and quickly enter their personal details to gain access to a site without thinking about the consequences.
How to Avoid Getting Stung!
The good news is that you don’t need to give up your obsession with your favourite celebrity to stay safe online. Instead, develop some patience and trust your gut. Here are my top tips to help you stay ahead of the cybercriminals:
Be Careful What You Click
Only stream and download movies and TV shows from reliable sources. While it may feel boring, the safest thing to do is wait for the official release of a movie instead of visiting a 3rd party site that could contain malware.
Avoid Using Illegal Streaming Sites – No Exceptions!
Many illegal streaming sites are riddled with malware or adware disguised as pirated videos. Do yourself a favour and stream the show from a reputable source.
Use a Web Reputation Tool
A web reputation tool such as McAfee’s freely available WebAdvisor will alert users if they are about to visit a malicious website. Very handy!
Consider Parental Control Software
Kids love celebrities too! Ensure you set limits on device usage with your kids and use parental control software to help minimise exposure to potentially malicious or inappropriate websites.
But if you aren’t convinced your kids are going to take your advice on board then why not invest in some comprehensive security software like McAfee’s Total Protection for the whole family? This Rolls Royce cybersecurity software will protect you (and your kids) against malware and phishing attacks. A complete no-brainer!!