Intel Security’s list of the most dangerous celebrity names to search online has been topped by Electronic Dance Music (EDM) DJ Armin van Buuren this year, who replaces comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. For the past nine years, Intel has been preparing an annual list of the famous people of popular culture to reveal who generates the most dangerous search results.
Musical artists top Intel Security’s list
Intel Security’s study reveals that internet searches for certain musicians and comedians could lead to spam sites infected with possible viruses and malware. Armin van Buuren is the first DJ and the third male to find his way to the No. 1 spot. The first male to acquire the spot was Brad Pitt in 2008, and then Jimmy Kimmel took the position in 2014. The second spot is taken by Luke Bryan, the third by Usher, and the fourth by Britney Spears.
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Others in the list are Amy Schumer (at 7), Betty White (at 8), Lorde (at 9) and Nina Dobrev (at 10). What’s interesting to note is that musical artists have acquired seven of the top ten spots.
Intel Security found that when a user searches for “Armin van Buuren” combined with the terms “free MP4,” “HD downloads,” or “torrent,” there is a one in five chance of landing on a malicious website that has tested positive for online threats such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware.
Users looking for free music at greater risk
Consumer interest tends to be high around pop culture events, including award shows, TV shows, movie premieres, album releases, and celebrity breakups. And cyber-criminals constantly look for ways to take advantage of users’ interest around them. They lure unsuspecting Internet users to sites laden with malware to steal their passwords and personal information.
“With today’s busy culture and a desire for real time information, consumers often click on sites that will quickly provide them with news and entertainment, without considering safety and security implications,” said Stacey Conner, online safety expert at Intel Security.
People who look for free music either for listening or downloading tend to be at a higher risk. Conner added that the most-searched terms on the Web are celebrity names combined with the terms “free MP4,” “HD downloads,” or “torrent.” He further said that consumers put both their digital lives and devices at risk when they search for music that is not made available through legitimate channels.