Science & Tech

'Robert De Niro', ‘Billie Eilish’ & ‘Finding Dory’ named most dangerous online searches

'Robert De Niro', ‘Billie Eilish’ & ‘Finding Dory’ named most dangerous online searches
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A perk of the internet is that we are just one click away from educating and entertaining ourselves from anywhere in the world - however, at the same time an abundance of information can leave you open to hacking.

This can result in cyberattacks where there are unwelcome attempts to steal, publish, modify, disable, or destroy information through unauthorized access to computer systems.

Hackers use keywords which they know receive a lot of traffic and interest as they will reach more people in attempts to lure internet users into visiting web pages or clicking download links that contain malicious software or malware that can result in any or all of these unwelcome actions.

Now Surfshark has researched which pop culture search terms - from celebrities to TV, music and sports - are the most dangerous to search online.

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After curating a list of the most popular search terms, they were inputted into Google with different qualifiers such as "download", "torrent", "MP3" for music, and "Stream" for TV shows as new queries where URLs from the first five pages of results were collected and ran through a malware detector.

The 'percentage of URLs with potential malware' metric reflects the percentage of URLs that were flagged as "medium risk" or above by this tool.

If you're looking for a Robert De Niro film, perhaps be careful which pages you click as over half of the search results for the actor (54.1%) contained potential malware, in second place was Jake Gyllenhaal (53.6%), followed by Anthony Hopkins (52.6%), Kate Winslet (52.6%) and Margot Robbie (52%).

Meanwhile in music, "Billie Eilish" had the most potential malware at 47.1%, "The Weeknd" came in second (43%) and then "Eminem" (42.3%) are the terms that could pose a threat.

In the film section, Disney fish favourite "Finding Dory" at 46.7% topped the chart with the most potential malware, in TV shows it was "Breaking Bad" at 39.6%.

The 10 most dangerous songs to search for have collectively spent over 200 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, with three of those songs reaching No.1 in the chart – “Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow, “Stay” by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber, and “Good 4 U” by Olivia Rodrigo.

What these results show is that googling these terms could lead to software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system, which can lead to a cyber attack.

There are a number of different ways to make sure you are browsing the internet safely.

  • Get your news from trusted sources.
  • Don't click on HTTP websites - as they are considered outdated as HTTPS now guarantees an encrypted connection where your data is secure.
  • Ensure your browser is up-to-date.
  • Use a reputable adblocker to stop malicious software.
  • Consider using an antivirus to prevent malware from getting into your device but also to remove if any has already been installed.
Surfshark is an award-winning, highly secure yet easy to use VPN that encrypts users' online data to help them stay private and protected every day, hassle-free.

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