August 30, 2009
A little bit of a levity as befits a Sunday blog entry, albeit about a serious issue, computer security. On August 25th McAfee released its third annual report on the most dangerous celebrities to search for online. (McAfee, Inc. “is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company.”)
The big problem is that if you follow the search results for top celebrities there’s a high risk that you’ll be “landing at a Web site that’s tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware. Searching for the latest celebrity news and downloads can cause serious damage to one’s personal computer,” according to McAfee.
As noted, Jessica Biel is the riskiest. According to the report “Major buzz about her figure and high-profile relationship with Justin Timberlake makes Jessica Biel an easy target for spammers and hackers. When “Jessica Biel screensavers” was searched, almost half of the sites were identified as containing malicious downloads with spyware, adware and potential viruses.” Jennifer Aniston, “Hollywood’s favorite leading lady, should be searched with caution. More than 40% of the Google search results for ‘Jennifer Aniston screensavers’ contained nasty viruses, including one called the ‘FunLove virus.’”
The good news: “Surprisingly, the U.S. President and First Lady are not among the most risky public figures to search; Barack and Michelle Obama ranked in the bottom-third of this year’s results, at #34 and #39, respectively.”
Let’s be careful out there!