McAfee researched which famous names generate the riskiest online search results that could potentially lead consumers to unknowingly install malware on their devices.
A household name up and down the country, Norton has remained in the spotlight over the last 12 months. From taking part in the judging panel of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, to making a cameo appearance in the Netflix movie, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, Norton’s high profile and enduring love from the British public makes him McAfee’s UK’s most dangerous celebrity in 2020, as his name generates the most harmful links online.
As lockdown restrictions took effect earlier this year, time spent online soared and with this, McAfee has seen a huge surge in online scams. From streaming the newest movie releases and TV shows, to searching for the latest celebrity news and gossip, people have turned to online celebrity content to entertain themselves during lockdown – and online criminals have been taking advantage of this trend. This is reflected in this year’s top 10 which is dominated by stars of the big and small screen, with 70% of the top ten celebrities all appearing within TV and films which are available across popular streaming services.
Fellow British comedian, Ricky Gervais, trails Norton as the No. 2 most dangerous celebrity, closely followed by Peaky Blinders star, Tom Hardy, who enters the list at No. 3. Gavin & Stacey creator, Ruth Jones (No. 4) appears alongside Rolling Stones’ front-man, Mick Jagger (No. 5), with Margot Robbie entering the list at No. 6 as the first non-Brit in the list. Rounding out the top ten are British actor and DJ Idris Elba (No. 7), model Kate Moss (No. 8), American model Bella Hadid (No. 9) and queen of cakes, Mary Berry (No.10).
Says Raj Samani, Chief Scientist and McAfee Fellow:
“We know that online criminals use consumers’ fascination with celebrity culture to drive unsuspecting fans to malicious websites that install malware on their devices, potentially putting personal information and log-in details in the wrong hands, so it’s no surprise that we’ve seen one of the UK’s most-loved national treasures topping the list, with hackers exploiting his popularity,”
“Consumers are searching the web for free online entertainment now more than ever, and as cybercriminals continue to implement deceptive practices such as fake sites claiming to offer free content, it is crucial that fans stay vigilant about protecting their digital lives and think twice before clicking.”
The top 10 celebrities from this year’s UK study are:
4 Tips to Help Consumers Stay Safe Online:
Consumers can do their part by being vigilant in practising safe online behaviour with the following tips:
- Be careful what you click. Users looking for the latest celebrity entertainment should be cautious and only download directly from a reliable source. The safest thing to do is to rely on trustworthy news platforms and keep up-to-date with the latest celebrity shows from the original broadcaster or streaming service.
- Refrain from using illegal streaming sites. When it comes to dangerous online behaviour, using illegal streaming sites is the equivalent of spreading scandalous celebrity gossip to your device. Many illegal streaming sites are riddled with malware or adware disguised as pirated video files. Do your device a favour and stream the show from a reputable source.
- Protect your online realm with a cybersecurity solution. Send your regards to malicious actors with a comprehensive security solution.
- Use parental control software. Kids are fans of celebrities too, so ensure that limits are set on your child’s device and use software that can help minimise exposure to potentially malicious or inappropriate websites.