Of the 50 riskiest terms to search across Google, Yahoo, Live, AOL and Ask in the US, “word unscrambler,” “lyrics,” “myspace” and “free music downloads” are the most dangerous, according to a report from online security firm Mcafee, which rates search terms based on their likelihood to return results that lead users to unsafe malware and virus-spawning websites, writes MarketingVOX.
The top 50 riskiest search terms:
Last year was more celebrity-oriented than financially so. In a study released in September, McAfee determined that users seeking Brad Pitt-oriented themes, including photos, screensavers or desktop wallpaper, have an 18% chance of encountering malware. Certain keyword categories are also more dangerous than others.? For example, searches related to “lyrics” and “free” carried both the highest average risk and highest maximum risk.In its report, McAfee also questioned how well search engines themselves keep users apprised of risky websites. It noted that Yahoo uses SearchScan (a McAfee product) and Ask uses Symantec. Microsoft’s Live Search, Bing and Google all use proprietary tools.Previous research from McAfee also evaluated search sites on their ability to minimize risk for searchers.About the study: McAfee analyzed the first five search results pages across 2,600 popular keywords across the most popular search engines. Both organic and paid listings were incorporated into the analysis, and more than 413,000 unique URLs were checked for potential risk.