These celebrities are the most dangerous people to search for online

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Getting online for the latest celebrity gossip could cause more security worries than you think, according to new research from McAfee

The security giant has revealed its 2019 list of the most dangerous celebrities to search for online, with actress Alexis Bledel, most commonly known for portraying Rory Gilmore in the network TV show Gilmore Girls, topping the list.

Bledel is followed by Late Late Show host James Corden, with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner third, with the likes of Anna Kendrick, Lupita Nyong'o, Jimmy Fallon, Jackie Chan, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Marvel actress Tessa Thompson also featuring on the list.

McAfee found that Alexis Bledel and Sophie Turner's names are strongly associated with searches which include the term “torrent” which is why these two actresses appeared so high on this year's list. Although consumers have access to more content than ever before with a wide variety of streaming services now available, many still choose to put their digital lives at risk in exchange for pirated content.

Preying on consumers

Consumers are interacting with content across multiple devices and conducting potentially dangerous searches across the internet to find the latest information or gossip on them without fear of consequence.

However, for cybercriminals, this creates a huge opportunity to lure unsuspecting consumers to malicious websites that may install malware or steal personal information and passwords.

Chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee, Gary Davis explained that consumers need to educate themselves when it comes to searching for content online, saying:

“Consumers may not be fully aware that the searches they conduct pose risk, nor may they understand the detrimental effects that can occur when personal information is compromised in exchange for access to their favorite celebrities, movies, TV shows or music. Criminals use deceptive websites to dupe unsuspecting consumers into accessing malicious files or content. It is essential that consumers learn to protect their digital lives from lurking cybercriminals by thinking twice before they click on suspicious links or download content.” 

To avoid falling victim to malware and other cyber threats, McAfee recommends that users exercise caution on what they click, refrain from using illegal streaming sites and protect their devices online with antivirus and anti-malware software. While using a VPN while you surf, is another advantageous option.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.