McAfee Reveals Lily Collins as the Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrity of 2013

Seventh Annual Study Finds Women are More Dangerous than Men and Musicians are Risky

Mad Men’s Jon Hamm is the Only Male to Rank in the Top 10

Monday, September 16, 2013 9:30 pm PDT

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"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."

Lily Collins, star of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Mirror, Mirror, has replaced Emma Watson as McAfee's most dangerous celebrity to search for online. For the seventh year in a row, McAfee researched popular culture’s most famous people to reveal the riskiest Hollywood actors, musicians, comedians, and personalities on the Web. The McAfee Most Dangerous CelebritiesTM study revealed that women are more dangerous than men, with nine of the top ten being female. Following Lily Collins, Avril Lavigne takes the number two spot and Sandra Bullock comes in third. Jon Hamm is the only male to make the top 10 list this year. Musicians also comprise nine of the top twenty most dangerous celebrities.

Cybercriminals consistently take advantage of consumer interest around award shows, new movies and TV shows as well as the latest cultural trends driven by celebrities. These criminals capitalize on the public’s fascination with celebrity to lure them to sites laden with malware that enables them to steal passwords and personal information. This year, searching for a celebrity name coupled with the search terms “free app download” and “nude pictures” resulted in the highest instances of malware-laden sites.

“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,” said Paula Greve, director of web security research at McAfee. “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.”

Lily Collins Searches Yield a Nearly One-in-Seven Chance of Landing on a Malicious Site

Fans searching for “Lily Collins and free downloads,” “Lily Collins and nude pictures,” “Lily Collins and fakes,” and “Lily Collins and free app downloads” are at risk of running into online threats designed to steal personal information, such as email addresses and passwords. Clicking on these risky sites and downloading files such as pictures and videos expose surfers to a larger risk of downloading viruses and malware.

McAfee research found that searching for the latest Lily Collins pictures and downloads yields more than a 14.5% chance of landing on a website that has tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware.

The study uses McAfee® SiteAdvisor® site ratings, which indicate which sites are risky to search when attached to celebrity names on the Web and calculate an overall risk percentage. The top 10 celebrities from this year’s study with the highest percentages of risk are:

Position     Celebrity     Percentage
1     Lily Collins     14.5%
2     Avril Lavigne     12.7%
3     Sandra Bullock     10.8%
4     Kathy Griffin     10.6%
5     Zoe Saldana     10.5%
6     Katy Perry     10.4%
7     Britney Spears     10.1%
8     Jon Hamm     10.0%
9     Adriana Lima     9.9%
10     Emma Roberts     9.8%

Women are More Dangerous than Men

Jon Hamm (No. 8) is the only man to rank in the top 10, followed by Justin Timberlake (No. 12) and Patrick Dempsey (No. 13) in the top 20.

Musicians Sing Their Way to the Top

Searching for musicians, especially young female pop stars, yields malware and risky websites. Seventeen musicians make the top 50 list, with three of them ranking in the top 10: Avril Lavigne (No. 2), Katy Perry (No. 6), and Britney Spears (No. 7). Other musicians at play include: Shakira (No. 11), Justin Timberlake (No. 12), Selena Gomez (No. 14), Demi Lovato (No. 16), Miley Cyrus (No. 20), Rihanna (No. 28), Lady Gaga (No. 30), Beyoncé (No. 34), and Pitbull (No. 50).

Dangerously Funny Men & Women

Sandra Bullock (No. 3), Kathy Griffin (No. 4), Amy Poehler (No. 17), Ellen DeGeneres (No. 23), Jimmy Fallon (No. 24), and Jimmy Kimmel (No. 39) all rank in the top 50.

Battle of the TV Personalities

Let the battle rounds begin between The Voice co-judges Blake Shelton and Adam Levine! Searching for Blake Shelton (No. 21) is more dangerous than doing so for Adam Levine (No. 32). Searching for downloads of Kanye West (No. 22) is more risky than searching for his new Kardashian family: Kourtney Kardashian (No. 27), Kim Kardashian (No. 35), Khloe Kardashian (No. 36), and Kris Jenner (No. 38). Media mogul and TV host Ryan Seacrest (No. 40) rounds out the top 40.

Latinas Heat Up the List

This year, four Latina women are in the top 20: Shakira (No. 11), Selena Gomez (No. 14), Demi Lovato (No. 16), and Eva Mendes (No. 19). Additional Latina women spicing up the top 50 are Sofia Vergara (No. 26), Jessica Alba (No. 31), and Salma Hayek (No. 43).

From One Year to Another

Emma Watson, Jessica Biel, and Megan Fox have all dropped out of this year’s list (in 2012 they ranked No. 1, No. 2, and No. 6, respectively).

Tips to Stay Protected:

  • Beware of content that prompts you to download anything before providing you the content. You may want to opt to watch streaming videos or download content from official websites of content providers.
  • “Free downloads” are significantly the highest virus-prone search term. Anyone searching for videos or files to download should be careful as not to unleash malware on their computer.
  • Always use password protection on your phone and other mobile devices. If your phone is lost or stolen, anyone who picks up the device could publish your information online.
  • Established news sites may not entice you with exclusives for one solid reason: there usually aren’t any. Try to stick to official news sites that you trust for breaking news. However, trusted sites can also fall prey to hackers. Make sure to use a safe search tool that will notify you of risky sites or links before you visit them.
  • Don’t download videos from suspect sites. This should be common sense, but it bears repeating: don’t download anything from a website you don’t trust — especially video. Most news clips you’d want to see can easily be found on official video sites, and don’t require you to download anything. If a website offers an exclusive video for you to download, don’t.
  • Don’t “log in” or provide other information: If you receive a message, text or email or visit a third-party website that asks for your information—credit card, email, home address, Facebook login, or other information—for access to an exclusive story, don’t give it out. Such requests are a common tactic for phishing that could lead to identity theft.
  • If you do decide to search for information on a major event or celebrity in the news, make sure your entire household’s devices have protection, such as McAfee LiveSafe™, which protects all devices from your PCs, Macs, and tablets to your smartphone. It also includes malware detection software, McAfee® Mobile Security, to protect your smartphone or tablet from all types of malware.
  • A complimentary version of SiteAdvisor software can be downloaded at www.siteadvisor.com.

Find More Information:

About McAfee SiteAdvisor technology

McAfee SiteAdvisor technology protects users from malicious websites and browser exploits. SiteAdvisor technology tests and rates nearly every trafficked site on the Internet and uses red, yellow and green icons to indicate the website’s risk level.

SiteAdvisor site ratings are created by using patented advanced technology to conduct automated website tests SiteAdvisor software works with Internet Explorer and Firefox.

About McAfee

McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), empowers businesses, the public sector, and home users to safely experience the benefits of the Internet. The company delivers proactive and proven security solutions and services for systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world. With its Security Connected strategy, innovative approach to hardware-enhanced security, and unique Global Threat Intelligence network, McAfee is relentlessly focused on keeping its customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com

Note: McAfee, the McAfee logo, SiteAdvisor, McAfee LiveSafe, and Most Dangerous Celebrities are registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee, Inc., or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. ©2011 McAfee, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Contact:

DKC
Eva Ross, 212-981-5218
eva_ross@dkcnews.com
or
McAfee
Kim Eichorn, 408-455-2172
kim_eichorn@mcafee.com