Harry Potter star Emma Watson is the most dangerous woman on the Internet. Or, at least, her name is the most dangerous celebrity search term, according to cybersecurity company McAfee’s 2012 “Most Dangerous Celebrities” study. Watson knocks out former Victoria Secret’s model Heidi Klum as the Web’s riskiest celebrity search.
So how dangerous is it to search for “Emma Watson?” It’s like playing Russian roulette. Searchers have a one-in-eight chance (12.6 percent) of opening up a malicious site containing spyware, malware, spam, adware, viruses and phishing sites, says McAfee. But in particular, McAfee identifies “Emma Watson and free downloads,” “Emma Watson and nude pictures,” “Emma Watson and fakes,” and “Emma Watson and busted,” as the most dangerous Emma Watson-related phrases to search for. Many of the websites associated with those phrases have been designed specifically for stealing your personal information.
“Cybercriminals follow the latest trends, often using the names of popular celebrities to lure people to sites that are actually laden with malicious software that are designed to steal passwords and personal information,” McAfee wrote.
Since her participation in the Harry Potter series, which ended with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011, Emma Watson hasn’t quite had a standout role. In 2011, her non-Harry Potter related gig was a supporting role as a wardrobe assistant who had a fling with the main actor, and she starred in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, set to debut on September 21. So why is Emma Watson so popular?
We have a feeling Reddit has something to do with it. Emma Watson has had quite the cult following thanks to Reddit and the /r/EmmaWatson subreddit, where Redditors will post elegant photographs highlighting the actress’s beauty. There’s a fascination with her as posts related to the actress often turns up on the front page of Reddit. And, as you may know already, much of the content that ends up on Reddit’s heavily visited front page often makes its way throughout the Web.
McAfee found that “Headline” (news-making) celebrities doesn’t necessarily become lures for spammers and scammers. And the list of “most dangerous” celebs clearly reflects that.
The list of the top ten most dangerous celebrities to search for includes the following:
- Emma Watson
- Jessica Biel
- Eva Mendes
- Selena Gomez
- Halle Berry
- Megan Fox
- Cameron Diaz
- Salma Hayek
- Sofia Vergara
Some trends that McAfee recognized were that Latina celebrities — and more generally, women — were the most likely search terms to be linked to dangerous result. In fact, only one guy made the top 20 most dangerous celebrity search terms: Jimmy Kimmel. Go figure.
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