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Graham Norton named most dangerous celebrity to search for online in the UK

Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent
·2-min read

Graham Norton has been named the most dangerous celebrity to search for online in the UK by cybersecurity firm McAfee, ahead of Ricky Gervais and Tom Hardy.

The research found that the chat show host’s name was the riskiest in relation to search results, potentially leading people to unknowingly installing malware on their devices.

Cybercriminals often use famous people or topics as a way to draw in web users in an effort to get them to click on links which can lead to viruses being installed on their device, which could then harvest personal data or lock access to it.

McAfee’s annual report on the issue found that well-known cybercriminals appeared to be favouring British personalities for scams this year, with eight of the top ten in the most dangerous list being British.

National Television Awards 2020 – Arrivals – London
Ricky Gervais was second on the list (Ian West/PA)

Gavin And Stacey star Ruth Jones is fourth on the list behind Norton, Gervais and Hardy, followed by Sir Mick Jagger and the first non-British entry, Margot Robbie.

Idris Elba is seventh ahead of Kate Moss and American model Bella Hadid, with Mary Berry completing the top 10.

Raj Samani, chief scientist and McAfee Fellow, said: “We know that online criminals use consumers’ fascination with celebrity culture to drive unsuspecting fans to malicious websites that install malware on their devices, potentially putting personal information and log-in details in the wrong hands, so it’s no surprise that we’ve seen one of the UK’s most-loved national treasures topping the list, with hackers exploiting his popularity.

“Consumers are searching the web for free online entertainment now more than ever, and as cybercriminals continue to implement deceptive practices such as fake sites claiming to offer free content, it is crucial that fans stay vigilant about protecting their digital lives and think twice before clicking.”

McAfee carried out its research by looking for the celebrity names which most commonly appeared alongside certain search terms such as “torrent”, “free mp3”, “nudes” or “pirated download”.

The cybersecurity firm encouraged web users to be careful with any link they click on, and to refrain from using illegal streaming sites.

McAfee warned that it had seen an increase in online scams during lockdown, as time spent online soared as people worked and studied at home and looked for new ways to stay in touch with friends and family.