Why you don't want Emma Watson in your inbox

Emma WatsonLionel Hahn/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

Harry Potter actress and model Emma Watson has been named as the world's most dangerous celebrity. According to security software experts McAfee, she is the celebrity most likely to be used by scammers to infect your computer with a virus.

So who are the other risky celebs, and how can we protect ourselves?%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

Attacks

Cybercriminals will often use the names of popular celebrities to lure people to scamming sites. Once they are there, they are encouraged to click on malicious software that is designed to steal passwords and personal information.

Paula Greve, director of web security research at McAfee said: "In today's celebrity culture, consumers expect to be able to go online to catch up with the latest photos, videos, tweets, and stories about their favorite celebrities. Due to the richness of the data and the high interaction, often times consumers forget the risks that they are taking by clicking on the links."
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Dangerous

McAfee does internet searches for famous people online, and assesses the risks posed by the sites they are directed to. It has just released its sixth annual list of risky celebrities.

Emma Watson topped the list. Fans searching for "Emma Watson and free downloads," "Emma Watson and nude pictures," "Emma Watson and fakes," and "Emma Watson and busted" are most at risk. In fact, these searches left fans with a one-in-eight chance of ending up on a scammer's site.

Celebrities

Generally, it found that women are more dangerous than men with Jessica Biel taking the number two spot (up from fourth position last year) and Eva Mendes coming in third. Biel is likely to continue her ascent with her role in Total Recall and engagement to Justin Timberlake keeping her in the public eye.

After Mendes, tween actress Selena Gomez is in fourth place, followed by Halle Berry and Megan Fox (who is up nine spots from 15th last year).

Shakira takes seventh place, with her social media profile keeping her in the public eye. and Cameron Diaz makes it to number eight (after topping this list in 2010).

Salma Hayek is ninth and Sofia Vergara rounds out the top 10 list.

Funnyman Jimmy Kimmel is the only male to make the top 20 list this year - at number 13. Piers Morgan and Brad Pitt dropped off of the list from three and ten respectively.

Protect yourself

The company says the list highlights the importance of staying protected online. It particularly warns users to beware of content that prompts you to download anything before providing you with content. You may want to opt to watch streaming videos or download content from an established site, such as Netflix, Lovefilm or iPlayer.

It adds that free downloads are significantly the highest virus-prone search terms. Anyone searching for videos or files to download should be careful as not to unleash malware on their computer.

Avoiding the obvious pitfalls may not keep you protected, however, one of the most effective approaches is to ensure you have up-to-date security software on all your computers, phones and tablets.

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