Cheryl Cole is one of the most searched-for celebrities online but finding her might compromise the security of your device. The Most Dangerous Celerity study does test searches to find malicious software and viruses associated with a celebrity’s name. The study is in its 8th year. We suggest sticking with well-known sites when searching for information on celebrities.
X Factor judge Cheryl Cole has been named as the “most dangerous celebrity” online by a security firm measuring the amount of malicious websites linked to a star’s name.
According to McAfee, a security technology company, 15% of the search results related to newlywed Cheryl – whose married name is now Cheryl Fernandez-Versini – contain links to online threats that could pose a risk to internet users.
The firm said that the public thirst for gossip means that many would-be hackers base their attacks and malicious software around links connected to celebrity names – adding words like “video” or “picture” to the end in order to lure in users.
- Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe was second on the list
- Pop star Jessie J was third
- Five members of One Direction were in the top 20, with Harry Styles at number eight
The Most Dangerous Celebrities study is now in its eighth year, and alongside the findings McAfee has published a list of steps for web users to follow in order to prevent themselves becoming victims of cybercrime.
The list includes warnings about free downloads, which McAfee says are “by far the highest virus-prone search term”, as well as to stick to official websites only and not to give out personal information when requested to do so via email or text message.
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Cheryl Cole searches can result in unwanted malware on your computer. The biggest threat is from the free downloadable files sites which package viruses and malicious software with whatever it is they are offering — such as a video clip of the star. Stay away from unknown sites and prevent yourself from downloading anything from anyone you don’t know.