Why Kylie Minogue is the most dangerous celebrity on the internet
Singer Kylie Minogue has been named as Australia’s most dangerous cyber celebrity according to a study by internet security company McAfee.
The annual survey was conducted with McAfee’s Site Advisor to determine the number of malicious sites show up when searching (using .com.au search engine) for celebrity names.
Kylie Minogue came out on top as this year’s most dangerous celebrity to search for with sister, and X Factor judge Danni, took out ninth place on the list.
This report highlights the risks web surfers face when conducting unprotected searches for celebrities that can often lead them to malicious sites laden with malware that can steal passwords and other personal information.
Kylie Minogue topped the list because 10.5 per cent of the sites presented in a web search were malicious.
Naomi Watts, star of the upcoming biopic about Princess Diana, was second on the list with 10.3 per cent followed by Jessica Mauboy (10.2), Delta Goodrem (9.1), Guy Sebastian (9.1), Jessica Gomes (9.1), Nicole Kidman (8.3), Elle Macpherson (8.3), Danni Minogue (8.0) and Isla Fisher (7.9).
“Cyber criminals often use the attraction of a celebrity name to draw web surfers to compromised websites that contain malicious downloads or viruses,” says Melanie Duca Consumer Marketing Director, McAfee Asia Pacific.
“Attackers gain access to your personal information as you search for news on your favourite celebrity.
“Cyber criminals are increasingly using celebrity names as an additional tactic to lure victims to their sites.”
These cyber criminals can optimise certain search terms to lead unsuspecting visitors to sites that will exploit weaknesses in their system and using celebrities names as bait.
Searching for a celebrity’s name along with other terms like “free app download” or “nude pictures” returned the riskiest results.
The threats built into these malicious sites are designed to steal information like personal information, email addresses and passwords.
Here’s what you can do to protect yourself:
* Beware of sites that ask you download something before offering the content you’re searching for.
* “Free downloads” is a dangerous search term that will expose you to danger. This search can end badly if you’re not protected.
* Secure your mobile devices with passwords in case it is lost and stolen so as not to expose personal information.
* Stick to official news sites – other lesser-known sites offering “exclusives” should be treated suspiciously.
* Don’t download videos from suspect sites. If a site offers you exclusive video to download – back away from the website.
* Don’t log-in or provide personal information especially if you receive a message, text or email to supply credit card, email address, home address – these are common tactics for phishing sites to get hold of your private information.
* If you must search for a major event or celebrity news protect yourself with internet security software like McAfee LiveSafe which can protect PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets.
* Users can download a complimentary version of SiteAdvisor to make your searches safer from www.siteadvisor.com. The software adds ratings to your browser’s search engine results so you know which are the safe sites to visit.