Graham Norton named ‘most dangerous celebrity to search for online in the UK’ — ahead of Ricky Gervais and Tom Hardy

  • Cybersecurity firm McAfee investigated the celeb names likely to carry risk 
  • Hackers use popular people and topics as bait to get users on unsafe websites
  • These can download malware and ransomware surreptitiously onto user devices
  • Cybercriminals appear to be favouring British celebrities as lures this year

The most dangerous celebrity to search for online in the the UK is Graham Norton — followed closely by comedian Ricky Gervais and actor Tom Hardy.

Research by US cybersecurity firm McAfee found that the TV presenter’s name was the most likely to be exploited by hackers to lure people into visiting unsafe sites.

These traps then secretly install malware or ransomware on the visitor’s device — allowing the cybercriminals access to, or control over, personal data.

Research by US cybersecurity firm McAfee found that TV presenter Graham Norton’s name was the most likely to be exploited by hackers to lure people into visiting unsafe sites

THE TOP TEN MOST DANGEROUS CELEBS TO SEARCH FOR

McAfee’s annual investigation into the use of celebrities as online lures found that well-known cybercriminals appear to be favouring British personalities for scams this year — with eight of the top ten in the ‘most dangerous’ list being British.

Gavin And Stacey star Ruth Jones is fourth on the list behind Norton, Gervais and Hardy — followed by Sir Mick Jagger and Margot Robbie, the first non-British entry.

Idris Elba is seventh ahead of Kate Moss and American model Bella Hadid, with Mary Berry completing the top ten.

‘We know that online criminals use consumers’ fascination with celebrity culture to drive unsuspecting fans to malicious websites that install malware on their devices,’ said McAfee Fellow Raj Samani.

‘So it’s no surprise that we’ve seen one of the UK’s most-loved national treasures topping the list, with hackers exploiting his popularity.’

‘Consumers are searching the web for free online entertainment now more than ever.’

‘As cybercriminals continue to implement deceptive practices such as fake sites claiming to offer free content, it is crucial that fans stay vigilant about protecting their digital lives and think twice before clicking.’

McAfee conducted out its research by looking for those celebrities’ names which most commonly appeared alongside such search terms as ‘torrent’, ‘free mp3’, ‘nudes’ or ‘pirated download’.

The cybersecurity firm encouraged web users to be careful with any link they click on — and to refrain from using illegal streaming sites, many of which are unsafe.

McAfee warned that it had seen an increase in online scams during lockdown, a period when time spent online soared as people worked and studied at home and looked for new ways to stay in touch with friends and family.

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