Searching for Zayn Malik and other celebrities could expose you to cyber threats

Written by Maryam Dodhy ·  1 min read >

Turns out, your favorite celebrities could be exposing you to major cyber threats.

McAfee, a well-reputed cybersecurity company, has put out its annual ‘Most Dangerous Celebrity’ list which reveals that celebrities may be putting their fans at risk because a lot of search results for their names are linked to malicious websites. Topping the list is singer Avril Lavigne, who shot to fame in the mid-2000’s with hits like Complicated. However, now it’s her search results that are making life for her fans very complicated.

Other popular names on the list included Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Zayn Malik, Beyonce, and Justin Beiber.

The list, this time around, consists entirely of singers. McAfee pointed out in its official blog post that the combination of ‘Celebrity Name + free mp3’ generated leads for the most malicious websites and, as a result, singers made it to the top 10.

Also Read: Pakistan at high risk of malware attack, says Microsoft Security Report

Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee, spoke on the trends of the list and stated:

“In today’s digital world, we want the latest hit albums, videos, movies and more, immediately available on our devices. Consumers often prioritize 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.”

The global music industry grew by 6% in the last year and with the public’s rising interest in getting the latest songs on their phone, cybercriminals are inserting malicious content in online sources related to celebrities to target unaware people.

Celebrities other than singers who could put their fans at risk include Jackie Chan, Jennifer Lopez, and Will Smith.

So, next time you search for celebrities make sure you visit trusted websites, download songs from verified sources only, and make sure to have a security protection tool on all your Internet-connected devices.

Written by Maryam Dodhy
I love bringing to light stories of extraordinary people working in Pakistan's tech and startup industry. You can reach out to me through Profile