Carrying out an online search for your favourite singer or TV star may seem an innocuous way to while away the time.
However, a spot of celebrity stalking could turn out to be dangerous, as cyber criminals lure in unwitting fans with links to malicious websites.
Now research has revealed the UK celebs that generated the most dangerous search results in 2019.
In top spot is Caroline Flack, best known as the host of ITV’s hit dating show Love Island. The former Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor present soared up from fifth place last year to knock reality superstar Kim Kardashian off the podium.
Following close behind is Maisie Williams, the 22-year-old actor who rose to stardom due to her role as Arya Stark in fantasy series Game of Thrones.
Gavin and Stacey creator-turned US talk show host James Corden took third place, while musicians Nicki Minaj and Billie Eilish completed the top five.
The top 10 most dangerous celeb searches
The annual charts, compiled by cybersecurity firm McAfee, signal a comeback for traditional music and film stars as the popularity of reality TV stars waned.
The research showed canny cyber criminals are taking advantage of curious fans who are desperate to discover the latest gossip, even if it means visiting potentially dangerous websites.
Innocent search queries can often turn up links to malicious sites that criminals use to install malware and steal personal information or passwords.
Read more: Avast boosts cyber security sales to $218m
“Caroline Flack has cemented herself as one of TV’s most sought-after hosts. After another year of Love Island dominating headlines in the UK, I’m not surprised she has topped this year’s list,” said Raj Samani, chief scientist and fellow at McAfee.
“Consumers need to think before they click to be sure that they are surfing to safe digital content and protecting themselves from cybersecurity threats that may be used to infect their devices or steal their identity.”
Main image credit: Getty