(BPT) - From TV shows to movies, theater and more, everyone has favorite celebrities. You probably have spent time online searching to find out more about what these celebrities are up to and their most recent projects. While there are endless options to feed your need for celebrity news, the problem is some of these sites are run by cybercriminals waiting to install malware to those who visit in an attempt to steal personal information and passwords.
Is searching for some celebrities more dangerous than others? Yes, according to the recent research by McAfee. The study found actress Alexis Bledel, best known for her role as Rory Gilmore in network television’s “Gilmore Girls,” tops the list of most dangerous celebrities to search for online. For the thirteenth year, McAfee researched which famous individuals generate the riskiest results that could potentially expose their fans to malicious websites and viruses.
Trailing Bledel at No. 2 is Late Late Night talk show host James Corden, followed by “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner (No. 3), actress Anna Kendrick (No. 4), “Us” leading lady Lupita Nyong’o (No. 5), SNL and talk show star Jimmy Fallon (No. 6), martial arts master Jackie Chan (No. 7), rappers and musicians Lil Wayne (No. 8) and Nicki Minaj (No. 9), and finally Marvel actress Tessa Thompson (No. 10).
Celeb surfing and beyond: How to stay safe online
Whether you're searching for celebrity information or something else, there are a few smart steps you should take to keep yourself and your devices safe from malicious attempts:
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. For this and any other movie or TV show, 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: 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 yourself with a cybersecurity solution: Celeb surf until your heart's content with a comprehensive security solution that can help protect you from malware, phishing attacks and other threats.
Use a web reputation tool: Use a web reputation tool on all devices in order to receive alerts when you're about to go to a malicious website so you can click with care.
Use parental control software: Kids are also fans of celebrities, so ensure that limits are set for your child on the devices they use and utilize parental control software to help minimize exposure to potentially malicious or inappropriate websites.
“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.”