Most Dangerous Celebrities: Armin van Buuren, Usher, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, & Jay Z

Following celebrities online? Be careful. Cybercriminals take advantage of our interest in celebrities by threading celebrity search results with links to sites hosting malware and software that can steal personal data, according to a report on McAfee Blogs.

Intel Security recently conducted a study using McAfee WebAdvisor to determine the number of risky sites that would be generated in search results including a celebrity name and commonly-searched terms. The study refers to these stars as the Most Dangerous Celebrities™, and lists them as likely Internet search subjects.

Armin van Buuren
Armin van Buuren // Facebook

Most Dangerous: Armin van Buuren

Leading the list this year is Armin van Buuren, the world famous DJ, who moves into the top slot from number 2 last year. Seven of the top 10 are musical artists. Following van Buuren in order are: Luke Bryan, Usher, Britney Spears, Jay Z, Katy Perry, Amy Schumer, Betty White, Lorde, and Nina Dobrev.

Searching for van Buuren online presents a 17.92% chance of falling into an online trap if you click all the results generated by Internet search terms. This translates into a one in five chance of landing on a malicious site.

Why do cybercriminals prey on musicians’ fans? These fans tend to use the Web to download tunes, usually in the form of mp3 files.

Cybercriminals use terms like “Free mp3” to lure fans to download a seemingly legitimate file.

Search terms like “HD download” and “torrent” combined with “Armin van Burren” turned out to be hotbeds for hacker hoaxes.

Also read: Yahoo used by hackers to spread malware to millions of users

Precautions For Celebrity Searchers

McAfee recommends the following precautions for celebrity searchers:

  • Only download from verified sites. Don’t download from a site you don’t trust.
  • Be strict about sharing personal information. Messages asking for log-in information or personal information are red flags.
  • Use online safety advisors. Online tools like McAfee WebAdvisor can alert users about risky sites before they click links they aren’t sure about.
  • Use comprehensive security. All Internet users should protect themselves from possible infections. Solutions like McAfee LiveSafe can safeguard devices.

Featured image from Avis De Miranda / Shutterstock.

Lester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.