LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Supermodel and TV host Heidi Klum was named on Thursday as the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace, inviting malware and viruses to flourish on computers.
Internet security firm McAfee said searching for downloads and screensavers for the “Project Runaway” judge and former Victoria’s Secret model runs a nearly one in 10 chance of landing on a malicious website with spyware, spam, phishing and other viruses designed to steal personal information.
CNN talk show host Piers Morgan, also a judge on “America’s Got Talent” and a former British tabloid newspaper editor, was the most dangerous male celebrity in the survey, produced annually by McAfee.
McAfee said cyber criminals often used the name of popular celebrities to lure people to websites that are laden with malicious software.
It said singers and sports stars tended to be safer searches than movie stars and models. Cameron Diaz topped the cyberspace danger list in 2010, and was No. 2 this year.
“While slightly safer than last year, searching for top celebrities continues to generate risky results,” said Paula Greve, director of Web security research at McAfee.
“Consumers should be particularly aware of malicious content hiding in ‘tiny’ places likes shortened URLs that can spread virally in social networking sites, or through e-mails and text messages.”
Making news headlines does not seem to be a factor. Charlie Sheen was ranked 59 in the 2011 list, despite his acrimonious departure from television show “Two and A Half Men”, and Lindsay Lohan was 18th despite being in an out of court and jail again this year.
The five most dangerous celebrities in cyberspace, according to McAfee are:
1. Heidi Klum
2. Cameron Diaz
3. Piers Morgan
4. Jessica Biel
5. Katherine Heigl
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte