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McAfee: Emma Watson riskiest celebrity search

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In McAfee's latest survey of the celebrity searches most likely to lead to malware infection, Emma Watson – perhaps best known as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films – has taken the top spot, knocking off model Heidi Klum from last year's most-likely-to-infect honors.

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According to the security firm's data, a search for Emma Watson runs you a 12.6 per cent chance of returning a link to a malware site, topping a list of ten celebrities – all of whom are women. Jessica Biel was the second most dangerous search, ahead of Eva Mendes, Selena Gomez, and Oscar (and Razzie) winner Halle Berry.

"Scammers know that this is a word that can get a lot of attention and will use this as a way to get to you," said Robert Siciliano, online security evangelist to McAfee. "This year, when searching for 'Emma Watson and "free" downloads', and 'Emma Watson and hot pictures' and 'Emma Watson and videos' you run the risk of running into online threats designed to steal your personal information."

It's clear malware writers are still concentrating on men with prurient interests to click on dodgy search links, since only one male made it onto the Top 20 malware search terms: US comedian Jimmy Kimmel. From the look of the man, few people are going to be searching for "Kimmel AND Nude" but they may be misled by his infamous "F**king Ben Affleck" song.

Kimmel knocked out Brad Pitt and Piers Morgan (the latter being another search term few would associate with nudity) from the list. It's the first time only one man has been in McAfee's top-20 list since it started the helpful effort six years ago.

From a demographic perspective, the McAfee list shows the increasing racial mix of internet interest. Five of the top 10 dodgy celebrity searches are Latina actresses, although few black actresses made it onto the list.

In terms of popular appeal, noted Scientologist Tom Cruise failed to make it into McAfee's top 50 dangerous celebrity searches for the first time in years, despite a high-profile divorce. Either Mr. Cruise's celebrity appeal is dimming, or the dictator of the galactic confederacy Xenu is protecting him from bad publicity. ®

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