McAfee has just published this year's list of most dangerous celebrities to search for, and this year Jessica Biel tops the charts. For the last three years McAfee, an Internet security company, has compiled a list of the celebrity names that turn up the most virus-laden hits. Hackers and scammers love to lure unsuspecting pop-culture junkies onto websites filled with malware, spyware, and other nasties by promising celebrity gossip and photos.
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Last year Brad Pitt was the most dangerous celebrity on the Internet. Beyonce Knowles still holds the number 2 slot, which she also won last year. The top five celebrities on McAfee's site all have names that are used by malicious hackers on a frequent basis; as many as one out of every five hits when 'Jessica Biel' is searched for are loaded with dangerous programs.
This is exactly why it is so important to stay away from sites that promise free celebrity ringtones, wallpapers, and other downloads. As a general rule, anything that is both free, and involves popular music or famous people should be avoided. Stick to reputable sites when you're looking for ring tones and wallpaper. Downloading those sort of things is like playing a game of Russian Roulette with four chambers loaded.
Parents need to be especially concerned about this sort of thing. Children searching innocently for information about the Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus are also very likely to encounter bad sites. Monitor your child's web use, keep them locked to a separate account, and make sure they tell you before they download anything.