Australia’s Most Dangerous Celebrities of 2016

Cybercriminals are crafty types. They like to think of themselves as one step ahead of us mere mortals. However, one of their more predictable strategies is to capitalise on our thirst for popular culture and celebrities.

Every year Intel Security puts together its ‘McAfee Most Dangerous Celebrities’ list. Now, don’t stress – these celebrities haven’t committed crimes. Rather, cybercriminals use these celebrities to entice consumers to sites that are full of malware (or malicious software) which enables them to steal passwords and other personal information from unsuspecting victims.

So which Aussie celebrities posed the most risk when searched for online?

Well, the 10th annual McAfee Most Dangerous CelebritiesTM study, published by Intel Security, shows that the riskiest Australian celebrity to search online in 2016 was in fact Rebel Wilson closely followed by Rose Byrne and Delta Goodrem. “Most dangerous” really means that these celebrities are likely popular search subjects.

Intel Security’s research shows that consumers who search for Rebel Wilson online have a 10.5% risk of finding a malicious website in their search results. Considering Rebel Wilson’s enormous success and profile, it is not really a surprise that she is being used by cybercriminals to lure in unsuspecting victims. Not only did Rebel make huge headlines earlier this year when she sued several Aussie women’s magazines for allegedly lying about her age but she kept us very entertained in the blockbuster ‘How To Be Single’ and then again in her hilarious cameo in ‘Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie’.

Tying for second place as Australia’s Most Dangerous Celebrity are Rose Byrne and Delta Goodrem. A search of either of these celebrities brings with it a 10% risk of returning a malicious website. Rose’s huge Hollywood blockbuster success with “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Bad Neighbors 2” coupled with the birth of her first child Rocco means she definitely caught the attention of the public. And Delta’s new no.1 album ‘Wings of the Wild’, her role as judge on ‘The Voice’ and the recent announcement of her role in House Husbands means she is a huge force in Aussie popular culture.

Here’s the full list of Aussie celebrities from this year’s study with the highest percentage of risk:

Position Celebrity Risk
1 Rebel Wilson 10.5%
=2 Rose Byrne 10.0%
=2 Delta Goodrem 10.0%
=4 Keith Urban 9.67%
=4 Dr Chris Brown 9.67%
6 Sia 9.33%
7 Kylie Minogue 9.22%
8 Iggy Azalea 8.56%
=9 Margot Robbie 8.44%
=9 Liam Hemsworth 8.44%
=9 Joel Edgerton 8.44%
  1. Keep Your Personal Information Personal
    Ensure your teens know NOT to provide personal information without ensuring it is a legitimate request. Remember, most banks and companies won’t request such personal details via online channels. Identity theft is an unfortunate consequence of oversharing online – something teens have a habit of doing!
  2. Think Before You Click
    Teaching kids not to be click happy is essential. Whether they are looking for the latest episode of their favourite TV show or a download of a new tune, encourage them NOT to click on any third-party links. Content should only be accessed from official websites.
  3. Use a Safe Search Tool
    Using a safe search tool is like having a dedicated friend looking over your shoulder, helping to identify potential risks. Install a safe search tool like McAfee® WebAdvisor on all your devices and make sure your kids know to only open sites that are approved or have the green tick. McAfee® WebAdvisor is available as a free download at www.mcafee.com/mcafeewebadvisor.
  4. Don’t Search for ‘Torrent’
    This is by far the riskiest search term of 2016. Teens and tweens love the idea of getting ‘something for nothing’ so torrents are very appealing. However cybercriminals often use torrents to embed malware within authentic files, making it difficult to determine if a file is safe. And once your kids’ files are infected, it’s just a matter of time before their friends’ files are infected also. So invest in a legitimate streaming option – you’ll sleep better at night!
  5. Ensure Your Entire Family Is Protected
    Give yourself peace of mind and ensure your entire family’s fleet of devices is protected – including the teenagers! Invest in comprehensive protection such as the McAfee LiveSafe™ service which helps protect most PCs, Macs and tablets and smartphones. It also includes malware detection software and McAfee® Mobile Security for Android or iPhone and iPad.

So, next time you want to see Kim Kardashian’s latest outfit or Tay Tay’s newest antics, stop for a moment and devise your strategy. How can you search for these ‘must-read’ news stories without getting yourself into dangerous territory or, just as importantly, wasting too much time…

’Till next time

Safe searching!

Alex x

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