It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman! Yes, this superhero might be the epitome of courage, justice, and strength, but he might also be the biggest threat to you online.
We’ve entered a new age of superheroes. No longer are they just pictures in a comic book. They are now accessible on computers, game console devices, and mobile devices. Superheroes like Captain America, Thor, and Spiderman star on the silver screen. The Green Arrow and The Flash have their own television shows. Videos like Batkid and the Spiderman dad went viral on YouTube (and consequently, melted our hearts).
This is great news to comic publishers like Marvel and DC Comics. Unfortunately, it’s also good news to hackers and scammers too. Cybercriminals know that search engines (like Google, Yahoo! and Bing) can also be used for criminal means. Therefore, they use popular search terms to draw victims in like celebrity gossip, holidays, viral hits, and…you guessed it…superheroes.
McAfee just released a study on the Most Toxic Superheroes that analyzed what superhero search led to the most risky websites using McAfee® SiteAdvisor® site ratings. And the Man of Steel topped the list. The study determined that searching “Superman,” “Superman and free torrent download,” “Superman and watch,” “Superman and free app,” and “Superman and online,” yields a 16.5% chance of landing on a website that has tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware.
This year the Most Toxic Superheroes are:
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:
- Be suspicious: If a search turns up a link to free content or too-good-to-be-true offers, be wary
- Double-check the web address: Look for misspellings or other clues that the site you are going to may not be safe (for more on this, read my blog on typosquatting)
- Search safely: Use a web safety advisor, such as McAfee SiteAdvisor that displays a red, yellow, or green ratings in search results, alerting you to potential risky sites before you click on them
- Protect yourself: Use comprehensive security software on all your devices, like McAfee LiveSafe™ service, to protect yourself against the latest threats
Want to know more? Join the discussion on Twitter using hashtag #toxicsuperhero.
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! Disclosures.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Aquaman, King of the Seven Seas May Also be King of Threats
Wonder Twin powers activate! Shape of a Pterodactyl! Form of an icicle! Watching the Super Friends on Saturday mornings in my pjs while eating sugared cereal for breakfast and reading comic books was the extent of my relationship with super heroes. Ahh… those were much simpler times. Today kids can find everything they need to know (and more)
- Most Toxic Superheroes 2015: Super Powers, Super Risky!
The King of Atlantis! The Protector of the Seas and Oceans! A beloved member of the Justice League! It’s none other than Aquaman! While he is most well-known for his ability to control marine animals and breathing underwater, he is also the superhero who poses the biggest threat to you online, according to Intel Security’s
- Celebrities Are Lures For Scammers
“Just Google it.” You’ve probably heard this phrase a thousand times before, and for good reason—search is one of the top activities we do online. But while you are searching online for information and content, keep in mind that scammers are also searching for victims. Scammers have been very productive in creating fake or infected websites,
- Tonight’s Special Guest: McAfee’s Most Dangerous Celebrity of 2014
After a long day of hard work, there’s nothing like coming home, throwing on some PJs, and watching some good old late night television. I love catching up on all the latest news and watching celebrities like Kaley Cuoco-Sweetin discuss the celebrity photo hack (what can I say? I’m a security junkie). It seems like we’ve
- Don’t Get Kicked By Football Players Online
The biggest sporting event of the year just kicked off. If you’re not a football fan (that’s soccer for us Yanks), this is the ultimate goal and it’s just getting started. Many fans will head to Brazil to watch these games and their favorite players, but many more fans will flock online to find out information about