Web Surfers: Beware of Jessica Biel


No, she’s not hacking on the side, but Jessica Biel—or, rather, her popularity—still poses a risk to the health of your PC. McAfee has named Ms. Biel “the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace” when it comes to the glut of venomous Web sites a user encounters when performing an online search for the A-list star.

From McAfee:
"Fans searching for 'Jessica Biel' or 'Jessica Biel downloads,' 'Jessica Biel wallpaper,' 'Jessica Biel screen savers,' 'Jessica Biel photos' and 'Jessica Biel videos' have a one in five chance of landing at a Web site that’s tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware."

This is the third year McAfee has researched celebrities on the Web to determine the riskiest among them. Biel sits atop a list of other search-at-your-own-risk celebrities including Beyonce (2nd riskiest), Tom Brady (4th), Miley Cyrus (7th) and Lindsay Lohan (14th). Brad Pitt, last year’s “most dangerous,” was bumped to number 10 on the list.

A 20% chance of encountering an online threat on a single search is a disturbingly high fraction. To minimize your risk, use a security suite such as the ones we rated (subscribers only).

Also, be careful to only visit reputable sites when searching for a celebrity on McAfee’s “most wanted” list, or for that matter, any celebrity. Additionally, check out our 19 tips to stay safe online, 7 common blunders to avoid and our free online security guide.

—Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org or check out Consumer Reports’ electronics buying advice.

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