Thursday, May 28, 2009

Searching for 'Work From Home,' 'Free Games,' or 'Screensavers' ? You Might Find Trouble

"The Riskiest Search Terms On The Internet"
WebProNews (May 27, 2009)

"Some of the riskiest searches on the Internet currently have to do with finding items for free, or looking for work that can be done from home, according to a new report from McAfee.

"Search categories like these are used to lure unsuspecting consumers to their websites. Cybercriminals are often able to convince users to download files carrying, malicious software that can cause people to expose personal and financial information...."

I'm not going to stop searching online, but I'm also glad I use software that's supposed to help avoid these traps. AVG and Google work together, so that when I'm signed on at Google, there's a go/no-go mark by most search results. It's handy: although I'm sure it's not foolproof.

Some of the results given by McAfee didn't surprise me: "...the riskiest set of keyword variations was 'screensavers' with a maximum risk of 59.1 percent. Nearly six out of the top 10 search results for 'screensavers' contain malware. One of the single riskiest search terms in the world is 'lyrics,' with a maximum risk factor of one in two...."

I think this is a good article to read, for people who do searches with Google or other search sites. Being constantly scared isn't smart, but staying ignorant isn't all that bright a decision, either.

The article includes McAfee's top 12 dangerous terms, from "screensavers" to "Viagra."

One more thing: "...People looking to save money, and/or searching for means of additional income should be aware that clicking on results that contain the word 'free' have a 21.3 percent chance of infecting their PCs with online threats, such as spyware, spam, phishing, adware, viruses and other malware."

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