Avril Lavigne is the “most dangerous celebrity” online
Avril Lavigne hasn’t released an album since 2013, and yet she’s somehow reached the top of an online list which doesn’t start with the words “where are they now?”
The Canadian pop-punk singer who shot to fame with the linguistic abomination Sk8er Boi is the most dangerous celebrity to search for, with security firm McAfee reporting that searching for her name has a 14.5% chance of bringing up a website carrying malware. That number rises to 22% if you lose any semblance of self-respect and search for “Avril Lavigne mp3”.
McAfee has a couple of theories as to why Avril Lavigne may suddenly be dangerous to search for – a new album on the way and, far more intriguingly, the recent revival of a high-profile conspiracy theory that the real Avril Lavigne is dead and has been replaced by an imposter. The latter is fertile ground for hiding malware – after all, if it’s conspiracy you want, then you can’t really scratch that itch by visiting reputable sites. Ironically said theory was originally spread by people who were keen to show how easily conspiracy theories can be spread. Mission accomplished, I guess?
Actually, she’s only the most dangerous celebrity to Google in America. Over here, our answer to Avril Lavigne is… Craig David. He’s followed by Emeli Sande, Liam Payne, Adele and Ed Sheeran. Huh.
Let’s get back to the United States then. Lavigne knocks out last year’s winner for the dubious accolade, comedian Amy Schumer. Rounding up the US top ten are Bruno Mars, Carly Rae Jepsen, Zayn Malik, Celine Dion, Calvin Harris, Justin Bieber, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Katy Perry and Beyonce.
Wherever you’re demonstrating your dubious taste in music, McAfee’s advice remains the same. “Be careful what you click,” the accompanying blog post reads. “Are you looking for a sneak-peak at Avril Lavigne’s rumoured 2017 album? It’s best to wait for the official release than to visit a third-party website that could contain malware.
“Searching for free MP3s? Be careful! Searching for ‘free MP3’ returned the highest number of risky websites, so it’s important for consumers to be vigilant and ensure they are searching safely. If a website comes up that doesn’t seem 100% trustworthy, avoid paying it a visit.”
And of course, there was a plug for McAfee WebAdvisor to “keep you safe by identifying malicious websites and warning the user before they click.” That’s good advice, but if you really must listen to Avril Lavigne records, then it’s also probably best to visit a reputable retailer.