Who is the most dangerous celebrity online?

Watch out when searching for these celebrities.


Mike Fenn

Internet Culture

Published Sep 10, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 11:24 am CDT

Is Emma Watson riddled with viruses?

According to a new study by McAfee, Inc., many websites containing the actress’ name are certainly risky. McAfee, makers of virus protection software, named the Harry Potter star the “Most Dangerous Celebrity to Search For Online in 2012.” Watson nabbed the honor from model Heidi Klum, who held the distinction in 2011.

“Emma Watson Searches Yield Nearly a One-in-Eight Chance of Landing on a
Malicious Site” wrote Gary Davis, Vice President of McAfee Global Consumer Marketing, in a Sep. 9 blog post.

Davis also wrote that combining Watson’s name with terms like “…and free downloads,” “…and fakes,” “…and nude pictures,” and “…and busted” increased a user’s chance of loading a site containing malware.

“Cybercriminals follow the latest trends, often using the names of popular celebrities to lure people to sites that are actually laden with malicious software that are designed to steal passwords and personal information,” wrote Davis.

Other celebrities on the “Most Dangerous List” included Jessica Biel, Megan Fox, and Cameron Diaz. Additionally, the study concludes that searches for supermodels, Latinas, musicians, and women in general intensifies the risk factor. In fact, 2012 marks the first time in the list’s six-year history that the top 10 spots were all taken by famous women.

Photo by ursulakm/Flickr

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*First Published: Sep 10, 2012, 11:52 am CDT