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Online searches for her could infect your computer with malware

2 minute read

If you get your entertainment online these days, be careful searching for Amy Schumer movies and stand-up specials.

Schumer is the most risky celebrity to search for online, according to a new study from the antivirus company formerly known as McAfee. Schumer was 7th in last year’s results. Justin Bieber and Carson Daly round out the top 3 this year.

The survey shows that searching for Amy Schumer content online gives consumers a 1-in-3 chance of downloading malicious files that could ultimately be used to steal personal information, including financial details. Criminals use her popularity — and many others’ — to pry into your computer.

“Consumers today remain fascinated with celebrity culture and go online to find the latest pop culture news,” says Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at Intel Security, the group that published the survey. “With this craving for real-time information, many search and click without considering potential security risks.”

Schumer isn’t the only celeb who could cause you trouble

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez may have broken up two years ago, but they are forever together on the Most Dangerous Celebrities list. Bieber landed in the No. 2 spot, up from 11 last year. Gomez was in the 14th spot last year, but moved up to No. 9 this year.

TODAY Show anchor and The Voice host Carson Daly, who didn’t even make last year’s list, was No. 3 this year. We don’t understand it, either. But he wasn’t the only one from The Voice who makes the list: Miley Cyrus landed in the number 6 spot.

Rihanna, who was in the 12th spot last year, moved up to No. 5 this year, and fellow musician Kesha landed at No. 10. Will Smith (4th), Chris Hardwick (7th), and Daniel Tosh (8th) also make the top 10.

“Savvy cybercriminals continue to leverage consumers’ ongoing fascination with celebrity news — such as award and TV shows as well as movie premieres, album releases, celebrity breakups and more — to entice unsuspecting fans to visit sites loaded with malware that can steal passwords and personal information,” the survey says.

You can still search online (if you do it safely)

We usually have no one to blame but ourselves when it comes to identity theft, and malware is a big portion of scamming people online. Intel says there are plenty of ways to increase safety online, and most of it comes from educating yourself on scammers.

Get your content from the original sources instead of third-party links and potentially illegal torrents. Intel says “torrent” is the riskiest search term. There are plenty of legitimate streaming services available instead.

Avoid anything that asks for your personal information to open, including personal addresses, credit cards, or even logins. Your data is valuable, and there are scammers lurking across all corners of the internet.

Scammers are everywhere

We mean it. Even your restaurant waiter could be an identify thief. While you should be cautious of the websites you use even with anti-virus software anyway, keep in mind that you should thoroughly research those brands, too. Earlier this year, Symantec and Norton were found to have many security flaws and issues that could leave users open to scammers.

It’s important to report ID theft as soon as you suspect it, because the longer you wait, the worse off you could be. Visit our solutions center to see how to spot identity theft and stay safe online.

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About the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn is a full-time freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She’s president of Blossomers Media, Inc., a web development and online media consulting company. Along with her work on, she’s been a longtime freelancer for Money Talks News — a personal and consumer finance website — and South Florida Gay News — the largest weekly LGBT newspaper in the South. Zinn has written for a variety of other publications, including Huffington Post, The Week, Quartz, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Indulge, and

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