An online search for Beyonce or Brad Pitt could end up infecting and destroying your hard drive, thanks to computer hackers who use their names to plant viruses into computers.
According to new data from computer security company McAfee, fans who go looking for info or photos on these stars have an 18 percent chance of having their computers infected with a virus or harmful hacking programs.
Jeff Green, senior vice president of McAfee’s Product Development & Avert Labs, tells Reuters: “Cybercriminals employ numerous methods, yet one of the simplest but most effective ways is to trick consumers into infecting themselves by capitalizing on Americans’ interest in celebrity gossip. Tapping into current events, pop culture or commonly browsed sites is an easy way to achieve this.”
Justin Timberlake, Angelina Jolie, Mariah Carey, Jessica Alba, Rihanna and George Clooney are also among the most dangerous celebrities to search online, according to McAfee Inc.
The viruses embedded in these celebrity Web pages or photos aren’t just harmful to computers, they can often be used to obtain personal information about the user.