If you've ever wondered what celebrity names and images online scammers use to bait curious Googlers into harmful clicks, McAfee
has your answer. They recently ranked a list of pop-culture celebrities that are the "riskiest on the Web and result in bad links, including viruses, malware and sites laden with malicious software designed to steal passwords and personal information." The company has been running the poll for six years, and the results are always interesting — and often sleazy.
This year, Harry Potter star Emma Watson takes over the number one spot from Heidi Klum — a name we'd never have guessed, really — for the Most Dangerous Celebrity to search for on the Web. According to the company, "this year, when searching for 'Emma Watson and free downloads,' and 'Emma Watson and hot pictures' and 'Emma Watson and videos' you run the risk of running into online threats designed to steal your personal information." Let that be a warning to you pervy Hermione Granger fanfic writers out there.
Cybercriminals chose to use Jessica Biel for the second most malware-ridden clicks, inspired by her recent engagement to Justin Timberlake and appearance in Total Recall. Eva Mendes won the number three spot, thanks to her 2 Fast 2 Furious and Ryan Gosling relationship link. The rest of the list follows suit, with big-name celebs featured in the tabloids or starring in popular Hollywood projects. However, McAfee does state that "Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were all absent from this year’s top 50 list despite the publicity surrounding the Cruise-Holmes divorce and the Stewart-Pattinson cheating scandal," so big headlines don't always mean risky clicks. The survey also looks at the stats of actors, athletes, musicians, politicians, designers and comedians — and here are some other conclusions they've come to:
Searching for Latinas is Risky
Eva Mendes (#3), Selena Gomez (#4), Shakira (#7), Salma Hayek (#9) and Sofia Vergara (#10) make up five of the top 10 most dangerous celebrities on the list.
Women Are More Dangerous Than Men
Jimmy Kimmel (#13) is the only man to make the top 20, with Piers Morgan and Brad Pitt dropping off the list from numbers three and 10, respectively.
Beware of the Supermodel
Three supermodels have made the top 20 list this year. Searching for downloads of Elle Macpherson (#16), Bar Refaeli (#17) and Kate Upton (#20) can result in landing on a risky site.
Musicians Are Not Safe
Young female artists are definitely a draw to malware and risky websites. Selena Gomez (#4), Shakira (#7) and Taylor Swift (#15) all rank in the top 20.
See the full infographic below for ranking.