Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Emma Watson named the 'most dangerous celebrity on the Internet'

It's that time of the year, when the most dangerous celebrity on the Internet is announced. This year, it's Emma Watson of "Harry Potter" fame.

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When we say most dangerous celebrity on the Internet, we don't mean that this celebrity is a hacker of any type. Instead, we mean that Watson is the celebrity with the most malware-laden search results, according to security firm McAfee's latest report.

McAfee's sixth annual report said that queries for Emma Watson pictures and downloads have a greater than 12 percent chance of taking an end user to a malicious site that have been verified by the company's SiteAdvisor service as hosting malicious content of some sort, including spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and malware.

The Top Ten list of "dangerous celebrities" is below. While you might expect that the list would be dominated by women - and you'd be right - you might not expect that to this point McAfee has never seen the Top Ten completely female.
  1. Emma Watson
  2. Jessica Biel
  3. Eva Mendes
  4. Selena Gomez
  5. Halle Berry
  6. Megan Fox
  7. Shakira
  8. Cameron Diaz
  9. Salma Hayek
  10. Sofia Vergara
Some bullet points from McAfee's data:

Women are more dangerous than men:
Jimmy Kimmel is the only man to make the top 20 at No. 13. Piers Morgan, who had been No. 3 last year, and Brad Pitt, last year's No. 10, dropped off of the 2012 list.

Half of the top 10 are Latinas
Eva Mendes (No. 3), Selena Gomez (No. 4), Shakira (No. 7), Salma Hayek (No. 9), and Sofia Vergara (No. 10) make up half of the top 10 most dangerous celebrities on the list.

Beware of supermodels
Three supermodels made the top 20 list this year, including the tried and true Elle Macpherson (No. 16), Bar Refaeli (No. 17), and 2012 SI cover girl Kate Upton (No. 20).

Musicians are a draw, too
Young female artists are a definite draw for end users, with Selena Gomez (No. 4), Shakira (No. 7), and Taylor Swift (No. 15) all in the top 20.

At least this year, headlines weren't a draw
You might expect Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Rupert Sanders to appear in 2012's list, but none of them even made the top 50. It's possible, though, that the omissions were related to the relative newness of the scandals involved.

The first announcement regard the Cruise / Holmes split was made on June 29; the scandal between Stewart and Sanders went public in late July.

At any rate, the McAfee study gives security-conscious users a snarky, funny look at how our celebrity focus can cause issues with our privacy and security. It's no different, really, than when you get an email from your "bank" telling you to login and fix something, when in reality it's not from your bank.

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