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If You Want to Keep Your Computer Virus-Free, It's Probably a Good Idea Not to Google This Actress

If You Want to Keep Your Computer Virus-Free, It's Probably a Good Idea Not to Google This Actress

"Cybercriminals prey on consumers’ addiction..."

Emma Watson has been relieved of the title most dangerous celebrity to search on the Web, being surpassed by actress Lilly Collins.

Collins— who starred in movies such as "The Blind Side," "Mirror, Mirror," "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" — posed the biggest risk of landing on a malicious site, accordingMcAfee's "2013 Most Dangerous Celebrities" list.

Female celebrities were the overwhelming lure to malware; Avril Lavigne, Sandra Bullock, Kathy Griffin and Zoe Saldana rounded out the top five; "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm was the only man in the top 10.

most dangerous celebrities mcafee McAfee's list of most dangerous celebrities to search -- those who are associated with a heightened cyber risk. (Image: McAfee)

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," according to the computer security company.

McAfee Online Security Expert Robert Siciliano gave some protection tips on the company's blog:

  • Be suspicious — If a search turns up a link to free content or too-good-to-be-true offers

  • Be extra cautious when searching on hot topics — Cybercriminals set up fake and malicious sites that dominate these time-sensitive search results

  • Check the Web address — Look for misspellings or other clues that the link might be directed to a phony website

  • Protect yourself — Use comprehensive security on all your PCs, Macs, smartphone and tablets, like McAfee Live Safe™ service, that comes with a safe search tool that protects your from going to risky websites.

"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, the director of Web security research at McAfee, said in a statement. "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."

Find more details about the dangerous celebrities list on McAfee's website.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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