Why it’s dangerous to Google Shawn Mendes or Justin Bieber

Each year McAfee produces a list of the world’s most dangerous cyber celebrities. You may remember actresses such as Lily Collins (pop star Phil Collins’ daughter) and Emma Watson taking top spot in past years. But in 2017, McAfee has taken its list of most dangerous celebrities local and created a Canadian-only list.

The winner this year is Shawn Mendes, who has surpassed Justin Bieber as the most dangerous Canadian celebrity.

How does McAfee come up with this list?

It tracks famous individuals for risky online searches. Searches for Mendes and Bieber could lead to a malicious attack.

Canadian singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne came in third and she has been a popular cyber celebrity for the past 11 years. That’s how long McAfee has been producing these lists.

What makes Lavigne special is that she came in No. 1 on the U.S. list of most dangerous celebrities.

  • Celine Dion can in fourth.
  • Carly Rae Jepsen was fifth.
  • Drake is No. 6; and
  • Alessia Cara placed seventh.

There are a lot of Canadians on the U.S. list too. Jepsen was 3rd, Dion 5th, and Bieber 7th. The highest ranking American artist was Bruno Mars at No. 2.

Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist for McAfee, said in the digital world today people want the latest hit music, videos, movies and more. And, usually its right after the release. Consumers often prioritize their convenience over security by engaging in risky behavior like clicking on suspicious links that promise the latest content from celebrities.

Davis cautions that it’s imperative that people slow down and consider the risks associated with searching for downloadable content.

An example of this is the search for “Avril Lavigne” “Free” and “MP3”. According to Davis, this results in a 22 per cent chance of landing on a malicious Web site.

McAfee conducted the survey from WebAdvisor site ratings to determine the number of risky Web sites generated by searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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