LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop singers Avril Lavigne and Bruno Mars topped a list of celebrities on Tuesday ranked the most dangerous to search for online because of results that could expose fans to malicious websites.
Cyber security company McAfee said singers Carly Rae Jepsen, Zayn Malik and Celine Dion were also in the top five of their annual list because searches for their names can lead fans to click on suspicious links that expose them to malware.
It said that searching for “Avril Lavigne free mp3” results in a 22 percent chance of landing on a malicious website.
Lavigne, 32, who found fame in 2002 with the hit single “Complicated,” has been off the celebrity scene for a number of years because of Lyme disease which she has said left her bedridden.
However, she said in 2016 that she is planning to release a new album in 2017 - her first in four years - apparently leading to increased searches for news about her music.
The 2017 McAfee study was dominated by musicians but actors who made the top 25 list included “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lopez and rising star Hailee Steinfeld.
“In today’s digital world, we want the latest hit albums, videos, movies and more immediately available on our devices,” Gary Davis, McAfee’s vice president of global consumer marketing, said in a statement.
He said consumers should slow down and consider the risks.
“Thinking before clicking goes a long way to stay safe online,” he said.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Chris Reese