These celebrities’ names are most likely to pose cybersecurity risks to fans – WRAL Tech Wire
Actress Alexis Bledel has been bookish and sweet on “Gilmore Girls” and “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” But the actress herself is now officially dangerous.
Cybersecurity firm McAfee on Monday crowned Bledel the most dangerous celebrity on the internet in 2019. No other celebrity was more likely to land users on websites that carry viruses or malware.
Trailing Bledel at No. 2 is talk show host James Corden, followed by “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner, actress Anna Kendrick, movie star Lupita Nyong’o, talk show star Jimmy Fallon, martial arts master Jackie Chan, the rappers Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, and finally Marvel actress Tessa Thompson at No. 10.
The survey is meant to highlight the danger of clicking on suspicious links. Bad actors will attach malware and malicious links to famous names, hoping fans searching for videos on the internet will fall victim. McAfee urges internet users to consider risks associated with searching for pirated content and always apply updated security fixes.
“Consumers may not be fully aware that the searches they conduct pose risk, nor may they understand the detrimental effects that can occur when personal information is compromised in exchange for access to their favorite celebrities, movies, TV shows or music,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee. “Criminals use deceptive websites to dupe unsuspecting consumers into accessing malicious files or content. It is essential that consumers learn to protect their digital lives from lurking cybercriminals by thinking twice before they click on suspicious links or download content.”
Tips to Help Consumers Stay Safe Online
- Be careful what you click. Users looking for a sneak-peek of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker starring Lupita Nyong’o should be cautious and only stream and download directly from a reliable source. The safest thing to do is to wait for the official release instead of visiting a third-party website that could contain malware.
- Refrain from using illegal streaming sites. When it comes to dangerous online behavior, using illegal streaming sites is the equivalent of spreading the Mad King’s wildfire to your device. Many illegal streaming sites are riddled with malware or adware disguised as pirated video files. Do yourself a favor and stream the show from a reputable source.
- Protect your online realm with a cybersecurity solution. Send your regards to malicious actors with a comprehensive security solution like McAfee Total Protection. This can help protect you from malware, phishing attacks, and other threats.
- Use a Web Reputation tool. Using a Web reputation tool such as freely available McAfee WebAdvisor alerts users when they are about to go to a malicious website.
- Use parental control software. Kids are fans of celebrities too, so ensure that limits are set for your child on the devices they use and use parental control software to help minimize exposure to potentially malicious or inappropriate websites.
Davis explained that Bledel and Turner likely landed on the list this year due to their respective roles in the popular shows “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu and “Game of Thrones” on HBO, both subscriber-based services.
Talk show hosts Corden and Fallon probably landed on the list due to viral videos of their shows, while interest in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” likely put Nyong’o so high. Lil Wayne’s summer tour with Blink-182 may have prompted fans to search for illegal downloads.
Chan’s name on the list may be a surprise since he has kept a relatively low profile of late, but Davis explained that rumors circulated this year that the actor might return to the big screen in “Rush Hour 4” and “The Karate Kid 2.” His team denied the gossip, but cybercriminals jumped in, hoping to “target fans who were overcome by nostalgia and less cautious about their personal security.”
Bledel takes over top spot from Ruby Rose, who led last year’s list largely because of interest in her playing Batwoman. This year’s list also indicates interest in reality stars may have waned. Kristen Cavallari and Kourtney Kardashian, who both found themselves in last year’s top 10 list, dropped to No. 214 and No. 222, respectively.