Graham Norton ‘Most Dangerous’ Celeb Search

When you think of people who might cause you harm, Graham Norton is unlikely to be a name that springs to mind. Yet, according to McAfee’s most dangerous celebrity of 2020 list, internet searches for the Irish comedian generate more potentially malicious content than any other celebrity. 

Norton, who is most famous for interviewing fellow celebrities on his popular chat show, The Graham Norton Show, is joined in the top 10 by seven Brits. In second place is comedian Ricky Gervais, while actors Tom Hardy and Ruth Jones take third and fourth place, respectively. Additionally, searches for the legendary rock star Mick Jagger generate the fifth highest amount of potentially dangerous content.

In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people have become more reliant than ever on the online domain for entertainment such as movies, TV shows and music, as well as searching for news and gossip. This has been highlighted in the research, with 70% of the top 10 celebrities on McAfee’s list all appearing in TV and films which are available across popular streaming services.  

This has significantly increased the cyber-risks associated with internet searches, with malicious actors exploiting the fact that people are being forced to spend more time indoors. Most prominently, this is enticing people to click on dangerous links related to their search that could lead to adware or malware being installed on their device.

Raj Samani, chief scientist and McAfee fellow, commented: “We know that online criminals use consumers’ fascination with celebrity culture to drive unsuspecting fans to malicious websites that install malware on their devices, potentially putting personal information and log-in details in the wrong hands, 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, and as cyber-criminals 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.” 

This year’s research may be the most relevant yet, and the likes of Norton’s association with malicious search terms further highlights how our love for celebrity gossip is being targeted by cyber-villains.

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