Did you know 'Avril Lavigne' is one of the most dangerous things you can search on your computer?
There are some things in life that you 100 per cent should not search on the internet unless you want to look like a complete weirdo/criminal.
While I won't put these terms in a list for you (as they're NSFW), you can probably guess the majority of them. However, according to cyber-security firm, McAfee, there are also some less obvious terms that shouldn't be searched online, with the top one being particularly peculiar.
For many of us, Avril Lavigne was the harmless pop sensation who gave birth to foot stomping tunes, such as Sk8er Boi and Complicated. She was also many people's (including mine) first crush, and has since gone on to be the stuff of legend among children that were born in the 1990's.
Sadly, though, it turns out that our dearest Avril may also be a major threat to our computers.
This is the revelation made by McAfee, who said that searching "Avril Lavigne" is one of the most likely terms to lead to websites that are carrying harmful viruses or malware. The report by the company, which "reveals which celebrities generate the riskiest search results that could potentially expose their fans to malicious websites" is now in its 11th year and has previously revealed the dangers of searching the likes of Amy Schumer and Emma Watson. On this year's list, Bruno Mars came second to Avril, with Carly Rae Jepsen, Zayn Malik and Celine Dion close behind.
A statement issued by McAfee, read:
"Cybercriminals continue to use the fascination of consumers with celebrity culture to drive unsuspecting users to potentially malicious websites that can be used to install malware, steal personal information and even passwords."
Lavigne tops the list, with a 14.5 per cent risk; a number with jumps to 22 per cent when you search the words: "Avril Lavigne free mp3".
"In today’s digital world, we want the latest hit albums, videos, movies and more, immediately available on our devices," said Gary Davis, McAfee’s chief consumer security evangelist. "Consumers often prioritize their convenience over security by engaging in risky behavior like clicking on suspicious links that promise the latest content from celebrities. It’s imperative that they slow down and consider the risks associated with searching for downloadable content. Thinking before clicking goes a long way to stay safe online."
Lavigne is the first female musician to rank top of the list and it comes at a time where she has announced her return to music, having been absent since 2014. Taking to her Instagram, the singer announced that she would be returning with a new album that will "be here before you know it", and McAfee believe this announcement played a role in the rise in malware-connected to searches of her name.
Lavigne has also been the subject of one of the most bizarre conspiracy theories of all time, with many people believing that she has died and been replaced by an imposter for the last few years. If you haven't read it, it's well worth a look into.
Still whether she is actually Avril or not, she is an incredibly dangerous woman in cyberspace. Be careful what you search out there kids, I once look up "blue waffle" thinking it was a delicious treat and I have never been the same since.