Your Online Search Could be Very Dangerous to Your Computer’s Health

Your Online Search Could be Very Dangerous to Your Computer's Health
article by Hector A. author
McAfee released a report in 2014 of the most dangerous celebrity names to search for on the internet. Do you know who made the top of the list? Jimmy Kimmel.

According to the report, “These criminals capitalize on the public’s fascination with celebrity to lure them to sites laden with malware, which enable them to steal passwords and personal information.” And why not target popular search terms? Everyone uses Google to find out who won an Oscar for best actor, what Miley Cyrus wore to the Grammy’s, and if the rumors of Sylvester Stallone’s affair are really true. Cyber criminals are so sophisticated in their techniques, that they never miss a beat and are now purposely targeting popular search terms to lure in unsuspecting users. Many of these criminals use SEO to understand popular search terms and phrases and then create their content accordingly.

Don’t Be Too Eager to Click on the First Results That Appear on the Search Engine

The Internet is awash with what Donald Trump calls Fake News. Cybercriminals realize that shocking headlines are more likely to generate clicks and downloads than run-of-the-mill boring news. Cookies track our browsing behavior on the internet, and oftentimes lead us to unsavory locations. If a person has a history of reading celebrity buzz, it’s common for scam artists to attempt to infiltrate computers by posing as legitimate sources, newspapers or fan sites. Intel Security discovered that popular comedians like Amy Schumer, and music artists like Lorde are go-to search terms for scammers.

Cybercriminals will piggyback off the popularity of these search terms, and generate inventive ways of hacking into emails, bank accounts, and stealing personal information. That’s why it’s imperative that the very best antivirus software is deployed at all times. This ensures that malicious sites are avoided before they have had an opportunity to infect a PC, smartphone, or tablet with malicious code. ZoneAlarm has garnered critical acclaim from users around the world. This antivirus software offers advanced protection with 2-way firewall security. It also guards against phishing activity. These are some of the most important security details to bear in mind when selecting an antivirus software program.

640x425_Your Online Search Could be Very Dangerous to Your Computer’s Health

What Search Terms Generated Buggy Results?

The Intel Security report revealed details of the 10 celebrities most likely to be associated with malware, adware, Trojans, worms, and other viruses. According to the data collected, the most dangerous celeb searched for online in 2015 was Armin Van Buuren. This European DJ created the Frozen soundtrack. According to the security report, 17.9% of all results generated led users to websites associated with spyware, malware, adware, viruses and phishing scams. That’s why an effective antivirus software program like McAfee is an absolute requirement. Other notable celebrity search results associated with hackers and scammers include Natalie Portman, Zac Efron, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Bieber. Britney Spears always features prominently, alongside Betty White of the Golden Girls, Nina Dobrev and Jay-Z.

According to McAfee, search terms on the web were ranked according to category, maximum risk, and category risk. The highest risk search terms included: lyrics (26.3%), free (21.3%), web (13.9%), gear, gadgets and games (12.5%), Olympics (12.4%), videos (12.3%), and celebrities (10.7%). In terms of country specific risks, the Czech Republic, Finland, Chile, France and Spain presented the most risks of malware. The riskiest search terms in the United States included: word unscrambler, lyrics, MySpace, free music downloads, free music, game cheats, printable fill in puzzles, free ring tones, solitaire, make money, touch my body lyrics, lollipop lyrics, weather.com, the price is right, Kimbo slice, and Metacafe.