New research suggests that searching for Avril Lavigne could be risky, and not for the reason you think (because the real Avril was replaced by a slightly different blonde punk before her second album was produced and unacknowledged celebrity doppelganger conspiracies are always dangerous). No, I’m referring, in fact, to matters of cybersecurity.
The cybersecurity firm McAfee found in its annual report, which The Guardian covered on Tuesday, that Avril Lavigne is the most dangerous celebrity to search for online, meaning most likely to expose fans to “malicious websites.” Other celebrities at the top of the list include Bruno Mars, Carly Rae Jepsen, Zayn Malik and Celine Dion. As expected.
McAfee explains in its report that, “Cybercriminals continue to use the fascination of consumers with celebrity culture to drive unsuspecting users to potentially malicious websites that can be used to install malware, steal personal information and even passwords.”
According to the report, Lavigne’s name carries a 14% risk of leading curious fans to suspicious sites, and that number climbs to 22% for those who search the words “Avril Lavigne free mp3.” Ok, am I only person who still has all my old Avril Lavigne CDs and would therefore never engage in this particular form of risky behavior? My CD player broke a decade ago, yes, but I’ve totally been planning to get a new one.