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Why singer Avril Lavigne is the most dangerous celebrity on the internet

Musician Avril Lavigne has been ranked as the most dangerous celebrity to search for on the internet because it could expose you to malicious websites and malware, according to the latest research by McAfee.

Shrewd cyber criminals use our interest in celebrities to drive people to sites that are designed to install malware and steal personal information and passwords.

This is the eleventh year McAfee has conducted this study and it highlights the dangers of clicking on links while searching for content about celebrities.

Singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne takes over from comedian Amy Schumer as the most dangerous celebrity to search for online.

“In today’s digital world, we want the latest hit albums, videos, movies and more, immediately available on our devices,” said Ian Yip, chief technology officer at McAfee.

“Consumers often prioritise their convenience over security by engaging in risky behavior like clicking on suspicious links that promise the latest content from celebrities.

“It’s imperative that they slow down and consider the risks associated with searching for downloadable content. Thinking before clicking goes a long way to stay safe online.”

This year singer Bruno Mars has made his debut in second place closely followed by another singer Carly Rae Jepson.

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The list was rounded out by Zayn Malik (No 4), Celine Dion (No 5), Calvin Harris (No 6), Justin Bieber (No 7), Diddy (No 8), Katy Perry (No 9) and Beyoncé (No 10).

If one was to search for “Avril Lavigne free MP3” you have a 22 per cent chance of landing on a malicious website.

And with music being so popular and the global music market growing by nearly 6 per cent, it’s no wonder the list of the top 10 celebrities is made up entirely of musicians.

Outside the top 10 other celebrities outside the music industry made the list including Anna Kendrick (No 13), Jennifer Lopez (No 20), Hailee Steinfeld (No 23), Will Smith (No 34) and Jackie Chan (No 38).

This study highlights the dangers of online searches and McAfee has some tips on how to stay safe.

  1. Be careful what you click on. Some websites offering information or free content may contain malware.
  2. Be careful of free offers. The word free is often used to attract visitors to a site and is used on the highest number of risky websites.
  3. Browse with security. McAfee WebAdvisor is a tool that can help keep you safe by identifying malicious sites and warning users before they click. You can download it for free here will https://mcafee.com/mcafeewebadvisor.
  4. Use cross device protection. We don’t just search with our computers, we’re more likely to be searching from a mobile device. McAfee Total Protection can protect users across all their devices.

About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

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