2012-09-10 09:45:56
2014-06-30 05:51:56

Emma Watson is the Most Dangerous Celebrity on Cyberspace

Author: Seth Shafer

Emma Watson might seem sweet enough but she's one of the most dangerous celebrities online.

You likely know her better as "Hermione" from the Harry Potter movies and she's just been named by McAfee as the most commonly used celebrity bait for computer viruses.

McAfee is a leading provider of computer security software and services for consumers and businesses and publishes an annual ranking of the most dangerous celebrity to search for online based on computer viruses discovered.

Emma Watson topped the 2012 rankings, with a 1 in 8 chance that if you search for the young star online using terms like "Emma Watson and free downloads" or "Emma Watson and nude pictures" that you'll land on a page with some sort of malicious virus or malware.

Heidi Klum topped the list in 2011, which tends to be dominated by women each year. The McAfee Most Dangerous Celebrities study found that women are far more dangerous to search for online than men with Jessica Biel in the #2 spot and Eva Mendes in #3; Jimmy Kimmel is the only male to appear at all in the top 20.

Latina women make up five of the top ten spots (Mendes, Selena Gomez, Shakira, Salma Hayek, and Sofia Vergara) and television and film stars often used by virus programmers as bait due to searches for photos and video clips.

Other celebs that made the 2012 top ten include Halle Berry, Megan Fox and Cameron Diaz. Several celebrities fell off the list entirely from 2011 such as Anna Paquin, Brad Pitt and Emma Stone. 

"In today’s celebrity culture, consumers expect to be able to go online to catch up with the latest photos, videos, tweets, and stories about their favorite celebrities," said Paula Greve, director of web security research at McAfee.

"Due to the richness of the data and the high interaction, often times consumers forget the risks that they are taking by clicking on the links."

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