Bad news for 2000s pop-punk fans, but Avril Lavigne is officially the most dangerous celebrity to search on the internet. But don’t take my word for it. Last week, the anti-virus and cybersecurity firm McAfee announced that “female singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne replaced comedian Amy Schumer as the most dangerous celebrity to search for online.”
For their 11th year in a row, McAfee researched the riskiest celebrities to search for online. While it may seem like study for comedic value, cybercriminals often use consumers’ fascination with celebrity culture to drive users to malicious websites that can be used to install malware and steal personal information as well as passwords. While past “most dangerous” lists have included a mix of musicians, actors, TV hosts, and others, this year’s top ten is occupied solely by musicians — with Avril Lavigne as the first female musician to be at the top of McAfee’s Most Dangerous Celebrities list.
And it’s no surprise that this year’s top ten is full of musicians. According to the study, the global music market grew by nearly six percent in 2016, making it clear that music is a large part of the daily lives of consumers. Additionally, in our digital world, the latest albums are always available, both legally or illegally. “Consumers often prioritize their convenience over security by engaging in risky behavior like clicking on suspicious links that promise the latest content from celebrities,” according to McAfee Chief Consumer Security Evangelist Gary Davis.
According to their list, a search for “Avril Lavigne” has a 14.51 percent chance of directing you towards a malicious website, while searching for “Avril Lavigne free mp3” results in a 22 percent chance of landing on a malicious website. Now, Lavigne can add Most Dangerous Celebrity to her list of achievements. The other musicians on the top ten and their percentages are as follows:
- Bruno Mars (13.43%)
- Carly Rae Jepsen (13.19%)
- Zayn Malik (13.06%)
- Celine Dion (12.92%)
- Calvin Harris (12.48%)
- Justin Bieber (12.33%)
- Diddy (12.32%)
- Katy Perry (12.25%)
- Beyoncé [searched as “Beyonce”] (12.09%)
We all want the latest music, videos, news, and gossip from our very celebrities. However, this study is a humble reminder to think before you click.