The lockdown following the pandemic has rendered most of us home-bound which has, in turn, resulted in increased online presence and activity across different devices such as mobile phones, laptops, smart televisions, tablets etc for the sake of both, information and entertainment.
Naturally, hackers have also honed in on this trend, closely following consumer behaviour to undertake online scams.
Each year, a device to cloud cybersecurity company McAfee comes out with a list of top 10 celebrities which generate the riskiest search results online, wherein malicious sites and viruses are linked to these big names. For the 14th edition, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has topped McAfee’s ‘Most Dangerous Celebrity List 2020.’ McAfee’s research shows this highly searched-for soccer star is the most ‘dangerous’ celebrity to search for this year because his name generates the most harmful links online.
Trailing Ronaldo as the second-most dangerous celebrity in this context is veteran actor Tabu. Following her is Taapsee Pannu, then come Anushka Sharma and Sonakshi Sinha.
Young musician Armaan Malik follows, with Sara Ali Khan closely behind. Soap actor Divyanka Tripathi ranks next and then comes Shah Rukh Khan. The list is rounded out by playback singer Arijit Singh.
“As consumers scout the web for free entertainment now more than ever, cybercriminals trail close behind, capitalising on this interest,” says Venkat Krishnapur, VP of Engineering and MD at McAfee India, in a company statement, “Unsuspecting users often look for free and pirated content such as major sports events, movies, TV shows, along with images and leaked videos of their favourite celebs. Bad actors leverage consumers’ fascination with pop culture and drive unsuspecting fans to malicious websites that install malware on their devices, potentially putting personal information at risk.”
Krishnapur continues, “When consumers compromise on security in favour of convenience and freebies, they put their digital lives at risk. It is vital that fans stay vigilant, avoid suspicious links that promise free content and think twice before clicking.”