Two Canadians Make McAfee’s List of Top 10 Most Dangerous Celebrities in Cyberspace
Rachel McAdams and Anna Paquin join riskiest celeb Heidi Klum among the most dangerous celebrities to search for on the Web
MARKHAM, ON – September 15, 2011 – For the fifth year in a row, Internet security company McAfee (NASDAQ:INTC) (http://home.mcafee.com/Default.aspx) has researched popular culture’s most famous people to reveal the riskiest celebrity athletes, musicians, politicians, comedians and Hollywood stars on the Web. Heidi Klum has replaced Cameron Diaz as the most dangerous celebrity to search for on the Web, and Canada’s own Anna Paquin and Rachel McAdams rank at numbers seven and 10 respectively. The McAfee Most Dangerous CelebritiesTM study (http://home.mcafee.com/AdviceCenter/most-dangerous-celebrities) found movie stars and models top the “most dangerous” list this year, while singers and sports stars are among the safest.
Cybercriminals often use the names of popular celebrities to lure people to sites that are actually laden with malicious software. Anyone looking for the latest videos or pictures could end up with a malware-ridden computer instead of just trendy content.
Security researchers are adding an average of 8,600 bad web sites to the list of domains, IP addresses and URLs with malicious reputations every day, and Canadians are becoming increasingly aware of the risks associated with their digital lifestyles. A recent Leger Marketing survey* commissioned by McAfee Canada showed that 59 per cent of Canadians are concerned about their ability to surf the Web safely. Only 19 per cent of respondents are not concerned about their ability to surf safely.
“Internet search engines have become a staple in the lives of many Canadians, and as this dependence has grown and continues to grow, the risky results generated by these engines show no sign of slowing down,” said Brenda Moretto, manager of Canadian Consumer Sales at McAfee. “Throughout the five years McAfee has been conducting this study, we’ve seen myriad searches for top celebrities generating risky results, and it’s often difficult for consumers to recognize them. For example, Internet searchers should be particularly aware of malicious content hiding in ‘tiny’ places like shortened URLs that can spread virally in social networking sites, or through e-mails and text messages from friends.”
Heidi Klum Searches Yield Nearly a One-in-10 Chance of Landing on a Malicious Site
Fans searching for “Heidi Klum” or “Heidi Klum and downloads,” “Heidi Klum and ‘free’ downloads,” “Heidi Klum and screensavers,” “Heidi Klum and hot pictures” and “Heidi Klum and videos” are at risk of running into online threats designed to steal personal information.
McAfee research found that searching for the latest Heidi Klum pictures and downloads yields more than a nine per cent 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 for 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:
1. Heidi Klum – Klum, the former Victoria’s Secret model and current producer of “Project Runway,” moved up from No. 10 on last year’s list to No. 1 today. Searching for Klum results in nearly a one in 10
chance of landing on a risky site.
2. Cameron Diaz – 2010’s Most Dangerous Celebrity fell to second place, with searches resulting in slightly fewer risky sites this year.
She has most recently been in the spotlight with her 2011 movies “Bad
Teacher” and “The Green Hornet.”
3. Piers Morgan – A new addition to the top 10 list, Morgan is also the most dangerous male celebrity. He is best known as the host of “Piers Morgan Tonight,” taking over for Larry King. He is also a winner of the “Celebrity Apprentice” and one of the judges on “America’s Got Talent.”
4. Jessica Biel – 2009’s Most Dangerous Celebrity fell one more spot this year with searches resulting in fewer risky sites. Biel continues to be in the spotlight with her on-again, off-again relationship with Justin Timberlake and her appearance in “The A-Team” in June 2010.
5. Katherine Heigl – The former “Grey’s Anatomy” star moved into the top 10 for the first time this year. Heigl has appeared in recent movies such as “Killers” and “Life as We Know It.”
6. Mila Kunis – The former star of “That 70s Show” makes her first showing in the top 10, bolstered by starring in movies such as “Black Swan” and “Friends with Benefits.”
7. Anna Paquin – This “True Blood” star is as dangerous on the Web as she is on the screen. She moved up to No. 7 from No. 10 last year.
8. Adriana Lima – Searching for downloads of this Brazilian beauty can direct users to red-ranked sites. Lima is best known for being a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2000. Searching for Lima became slightly safer, moving her from No. 6 last year, to No. 8 this year.
9. Scarlett Johansson – The former child star has gotten more dangerous as she’s grown up. Named in 2010 as “Babe of The Year” by GQ Magazine, Johansson most recently appeared in “Iron Man 2.”
10. Emma Stone, Brad Pitt and Rachel McAdams – Pitt has been a mainstay of this list, appearing in the top 10 for the past four years while Stone and McAdams are new to the top 10. Stone, the star of last year’s “Easy A,” has appeared in “The Help” and “Crazy Stupid Love” this year. McAdams has most recently appeared in “Morning Glory” and “Midnight in Paris.”
Gisele Bündchen, Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts have all dropped out of this year’s top 10 list.
Beware of Victoria’s Secret Beauties
Two of Victoria’s Secret top models are among the top 10 this year. Searching for downloads of sexy Heidi Klum (No. 1) or Adriana Lima (No. 8) can result in landing on a risky site.
Sports Stars and Singers are Safer
Tennis stars Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick, who last year came in at No. 13 and No. 14 respectively, have dropped to No. 44 and No. 56 on this year’s list. Singer Justin Bieber was No. 49 this year, followed by Rihanna and Carrie Underwood who were tied at No. 51, and Lady Gaga was No. 58.
Headlines Don’t Equate to Risk
This year actor Charlie Sheen made headlines with his highly public departure from “Two and a Half Men” and his one-man roadshow, among other things. Despite the publicity, however, Sheen is not classified as a “dangerous” celebrity. Sheen ranked No. 59 on this year’s list, with less than three per cent of searches yielding risky results.
Lindsay Lohan, another tabloid favourite, ranked No. 18 on this year’s list, tied with Gwen Stefani and Reese Witherspoon.
“Hot movies and TV shows, awards and industry accolades seem to be more of a factor than headline-grabbing activity,” said Moretto.
“Still, searching for any celebrity can bring up risky sites and the public should use caution by not clicking on any page that looks suspicious.”
Keep Safe with McAfee SiteAdvisor LIVE software
McAfee security experts urge consumers to surf safely by using McAfee Total Protection™ security software (http://home.mcafee.com/store/total-protection), a security suite that offers consumers anti-virus, anti-spyware, identity and firewall protection, and with SiteAdvisor, which displays red, yellow or green web safety ratings within Internet search results pages. It also blocks risky websites, adds anti-phishing protection, and helps users more safely surf, shop and bank online.
Consumers can also safely surf the Web by using Secure Search box located within the web browser, which automatically blocks “red”
sites within a user’s search results that have potentially dangerous downloads including viruses, spyware and other harmful software.
Web surfers should visit the McAfee Security Advice Center
(http://home.mcafee.com/advicecenter/default.aspx) and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mcafee for information on the latest threats, as well as tips on surfing safely. A complimentary version of SiteAdvisor software can be downloaded at www.siteadvisor.com.
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.
* The online survey of 1,500 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, was completed over the period May 24-26, 2011 by Leger Marketing. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security.
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McAfee Canada is headquartered in Markham, Ontario, with regional offices across Canada. The company’s Consumer Software Research and Development facility in based in Waterloo, Ontario.
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