Alexis Bledel at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards in Santa Monica. File photo/AP
If you are a diehard fan of a well-known actor, try to avoid clicking on his or her website. This way you could avoid exposing yourself to cyber risks, hitting a trail of malware and viruses.
Among the stars who are considered risky online are Games of Thrones star Sophie Turner, talk show host Jimmy Fallon, singer Nicki Minaj and Marvel's Tessa Thompson.
However, the actor considered most dangerous online now is Alexis Bledel. She may be bookish and sweet on "Gilmore Girls" and "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." But don't get carried away.
Cyber security firm McAfee on Monday crowned Bledel the most dangerous celebrity on the internet in 2019. No other celebrity was more likely to land users on websites that carry viruses or malware.
Trailing Bledel at No. 2 is talk show host James Corden, followed by Sophie Turner, actress Anna Kendrick, movie star Lupita Nyong'o, talk show star Jimmy Fallon, martial arts master Jackie Chan, the rappers Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, and finally Marvel actress Tessa Thompson at No. 10.
The survey is meant to highlight the danger of clicking on suspicious links. Bad actors will attach malware and malicious links to famous names, hoping fans searching for videos on the internet will fall victim. McAfee urges internet users to consider risks associated with searching for pirated content and always apply updated security fixes.
"Consumers may not be fully aware that the searches they conduct pose risk, nor may they understand the detrimental effects that can occur when personal information is compromised in exchange for access to their favourite celebrities, movies, TV shows or music," Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee, said in a statement.
Davis explained that Bledel and Turner probably landed on the list this year due to their respective roles in the popular shows "The Handmaid's Tale" on Hulu and "Game of Thrones" on HBO, both subscriber-based services.
Talk show hosts Corden and Fallon probably landed on the list due to viral videos of their shows, while interest in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" possibly put Nyong'o so high. Lil Wayne's summer tour with Blink-182 may have prompted fans to search for illegal downloads.
Chan's name on the list may be a surprise since he has kept a relatively low profile of late, but Davis explained that rumours circulated this year that the actor might return to the big screen in "Rush Hour 4" and "The Karate Kid 2." His team denied the gossip, but cybercriminals jumped in, hoping to "target fans who were overcome by nostalgia and less cautious about their personal security."
Bledel takes over top spot from Ruby Rose, who led last year's list largely because of interest in her playing Batwoman. This year's list also indicates interest in reality stars may have waned. Kristen Cavallari and Kourtney Kardashian, who both found themselves in last year's top 10 list, dropped to No. 214 and No. 222, respectively.
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