Each year, computer security company, McAfee releases a list of the most dangerous celebrities on the Internet. These are people whose popularity is exploited by identity thieves and hackers who lure unsuspecting people through links in emails, social media and text messages relating to these celebrities or through malware filled websites to unknowingly downloading keystroke logging malware that enables the identity thieves to steal all of the personal information from the victim’s computer, laptop, smartphone or other electronic device and use that information to make the person a victim of identity theft. This year, comedian and late night talk host Jimmy Kimmel took the title of the most dangerous person on the Internet for the first time. This is also the first time since 2008 that a man has held this position. Often the messages used to lure victims into downloading the malware promise to provide particularly salacious or enticing videos or photographs although Jimmy Kimmel seems to be an exception to this rule. According to McAfee, almost 20% of searches for Jimmy Kimmel on line will take you to malware.
The other celebrities on the list in descending order are Armin van Buuren, Ciara, Flo Rida, Bruce Springstein, Blake Shelton, Britney Spears, Jon Bon Jovi, Chelsea Handler and Christina Aguilera.
It is important to remember that merely because a website turns up high on a Google search does not mean that it is legitimate. Google doesn’t check out websites for legitimacy in ranking sites. The ranking is done by secret algorithms that some identity thieves are adept at manipulating. Also, as I constantly warn you, never click on links or download attachments unless you are absolutely sure that they are legitimate. Merely because it appears that a friend is passing them on to you does not make them legitimate. As for celebrity videos and photos, you should have a healthy mistrust of websites with which you are not entirely familiar. For gossip, www.tmz.com is a good place to go. They always have the latest gossip and they are legitimate. Finally make sure that you keep all of your electronic devices secure with anti-malware and anti-virus software and keep your security software current with the latest security patches.