- Actress Sonakshi Sinha ranked No. 1 on the McAfee Most Sensational Celebrities 2016 study
- Currently in its 10th edition globally, the study indicates the continued fascination for celebrity gossip that could lead to risky search results online, potentially exposing consumers to malware
- Gen-Y stars including Sonakshi Sinha, Tiger Shroff, Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Kriti Sanon and Alia Bhatt comprise 50% of the top 10 list for 2016
Actress and rapper Sonakshi Sinha has replaced Priyanka Chopra to become the most sensational celebrity to search for online in 2016, according to Intel Security. The McAfee Most Sensational Celebrities study now completes a decade globally and has helped uncover pop culture icons including Bollywood celebrities that have generated risky search results, which could expose fans to viruses and malware while searching for the latest information online.
Priyanka Chopra who was most sensational celebrity for 2015 is down to No. 7 this year. This year’s list saw major changes as younger (Gen-Y) movie celebrities making their presence felt in the top 10 list. Farhan Akhtar is second in the list (racing from No. 11 in 2015) and is followed by Kareena Kapoor at No. 3 (from No. 10 in 2015). Tiger Shroff and Arjun Kapoor shared their ranks at No.4 (Arjun was No. 18 in 2015). Shraddha Kapoor follows suit at No. 5 (down from No.2 in 2015) and completes the top 5 celebrity list.
With the increasing penetration of broadband, consumers rely on the internet to find more information such as award and TV shows as well as movie premieres, album releases, celebrity breakups and more. The study, published by Intel Security, highlights the various ways hackers can take advantage of consumer interest around several facets of Bollywood cinema news and entice unsuspecting fans to visit sites loaded with malware that can steal passwords and personal information. Accordingly, it emphasizes on the risks of their online behavior and how to best protect themselves from potential threats.
“Cinema and celebrity culture continue to be synonymous with Indian consumers.” said Venkat Krishnapur, head of R&D operations for Intel Security’s India Development Centre. “Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting consumers who access information-on-the-go, without considering the potential security risks online around celebrity interest. We at Intel Security remain committed to creating a positive online experience by educating and protecting the Indian consumers.”
A search for ‘Sonakshi Sinha + Torrent’ results in a 21 percent chance of connecting to a malicious website
Sonakshi Sinha topping the list highlights the trend towards Gen-Y celebrities becoming high value targets. Consumers are now, more than ever, streaming videos, and movies online. As file sharing and torrent use continues to grow in popularity, it’s no surprise that movies are a target for cybercriminals seeking to create malicious files.
The top 10 celebrities from this year’s study with the highest risk percentages include:
|9||Saif Ali Khan||7.11%|
How to Search Safely
- Think before you click! Don’t click on a third-party link. Instead, access content directly from the original source or company websites to ensure you aren’t clicking on anything that could be malicious.
- Use caution when searching for “torrent.” This term is by far the riskiest search term. Cybercriminals can use torrents to embed malware within authentic files making it difficult to determine if a file is safe. It’s best to avoid using torrents especially when there are so many legitimate streaming options available.
- Keep your personal information personal. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to steal your personal information. If you receive a request to enter information like your credit card, email, home address or social media login don’t give it out thoughtlessly. Do your research and ensure it’s not a phishing or scam attempt that could lead to identity theft
- Browse safely using protection like McAfee® WebAdvisor software. WebAdvisor will help keep you safe from malicious websites by helping to identify potentially risky sites. A complimentary version of the software can be downloaded at www.mcafee.com/mcafeewebadvisor
- Use cross device protection. Consumers need to protect all facets of their digital lives regardless of where they are, what device they use or where they store their personal data. Use solutions that work across all your devices to deliver protection against threats, such as malware, hacking and phishing attacks.
Find More Information:
- To learn more about the study, check out:
Blog post from Gary Davis: https://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/amy-schumer-dangerous-celebrities/
Twitter: Follow @IntelSecurity for live online safety updates and tips. Use hashtag #RiskyCeleb to discuss the Most Sensational Celebrities of 2016
- Web surfers can also visit the Intel Security Facebook page at www.facebook.com/intelsecurity and McAfee Security Advice Center for information on the latest consumer threats and tips for living safe online.
- If you do decide to search for information on a major event or celebrity in the news, make sure your entire household’s devices have protection, such as McAfee LiveSafe™ service, which helps protect most PCs, Macs and tablets and smartphones. It also includes malware detection software, McAfee® Mobile Security, to better protect your smartphone or tablet from many types of malware.
Intel Security conducted the study using McAfee® WebAdvisor site ratings to determine the number of risky sites generated by searches, on Google*, Bing* and Yahoo!*, that included a celebrity name and commonly searched terms (noted below) likely to yield malware. From that, an overall risk percentage was calculated for each celebrity. “Most sensational” means that these celebrities are likely popular search subjects.
McAfee SiteAdvisor technology helps protect users from malicious websites and browser exploits. SiteAdvisor technology tests and rates nearly every internet website it finds, and uses red, yellow and green icons to indicate the website’s risk level. Ratings are created by using patented advanced technology to conduct automated website tests and works with Internet Explorer*, Chrome* and Firefox*. Search terms included:
- “Celeb name + Torrent”
- “Celeb name + Free MP4”
- “Celeb name + HD download”
The results indicated the percentage of risk of running into online threats – if a user clicked all the results generated by the terms. Fans clicking on sites deemed risky and downloading files including photos and videos from those sites may also be prone to downloading viruses and malware.