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Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Most Dangerous Things to Search for on Google

The Most Dangerous Things to Search for on Google

The Internet is pretty great. You can watch videos of cats being weird, and then watch the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Then you can go on Reddit and learn how to replace the drywall in your bathroom. Just another typical Sunday afternoon with the Internet, right? 

Unfortunately, the Internet isn’t always perfect. It can be pretty dangerous, and we’d like to share some surprising terms that can lead to dangerous websites and malware if you search for them on Google.

Quick disclaimer: None of these topics are necessarily dangerous on their own, and there is bound to be a lot of great, wholesome and family-friendly content about each of these terms out there on the Internet. That being said, we’re going to explore how these terms ended up being so dangerous to show you why you, your family, and your coworkers should be careful online.

Threats Lurk Beyond Innocent Family-Friendly Topics

A lot of the things that kids really enjoy are often targeted. Cybercriminals know that a child might not be as well-versed in cybersecurity as an adult, so if they can spread malware to kids doing innocent searches for shows and movies, they will.

According to Home Security Heroes, an organization dedicated to helping families stay safe online, over half of the search results for terms like “The Boss Baby,” “Sonic the Hedgehog,” and “Pokémon” could lead to malware or other online threats.

Video game-related search terms like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” carries a pretty strong risk of malware as well, with 46 percent of the results containing malware-infected domains. This is a cute game where players move onto an island and make friends with talking dogs, frogs, and other adorable animals and give each other gifts. The content of the game itself is extremely kid-friendly, but websites offering guides or illegal downloads of the game could be dangerous.

The Most Dangerous Celebrities to Search For

Several years ago, long before the pandemic, Emma Watson was one of the most dangerous celebrities to Google search, with a shocking number of websites having links to malware or other potential threats. 

Today, the prom king and queen of dangerous search results go to the fabulous Chris Hemsworth and Anne Hathaway—so the mighty Thor and 2012’s Catwoman for the comic book nerds out there. Interestingly enough, Chris Hemsworth and Anne Hathaway were set to star in a movie together back in 2013 called Robopocalypse, but it doesn’t seem to have come to fruition.

To no fault of their own, these two celebrities suffer from a similar affliction to the family-friendly movies above, but an estimated 75 percent of the search results for their names potentially contain harmful content or malware.

Other actors and actresses like Kaley Cuoco, Olivia Rodrigo, Neil Patrick Harris, Chris Pine, Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, and Zendaya also have a ton of risky search results.

But We Can’t Ignore the Queen

She’s always having her best year ever, and is loved and adored by fans of all ages. Yes, we’re talking about the infamous Taylor Swift. Tay-tay, or T-Swizzle, or Queen America herself might be one of the greatest musical icons of our time, but a whopping 79 percent of her search results are potentially dangerous.

That doesn’t mean you can’t search for her and find safe content, but it does mean that there are thousands of websites out there that are trying to trick users into reading up on the brightest star in the music industry, only to infect your computer with malware or steal your personal information.

If you are a little more old school, the Backstreet Boys are right behind her with 76% of their results being sketchy and potentially dangerous.

The Huntsman Spider

What’s bigger than your hand, has eight legs, and eats mice?

You don’t really want to know, but it’s the huntsman spider.

We’re not sure what percentage of websites about this horrific monstrosity have malware; in fact, Googling it is probably a lot safer for your computer than searching for Chris Pratt. Still, these spiders are huge and anyone without ironclad constitutions should probably avoid giving themselves nightmares and not go down that rabbit hole.

All Joking Aside, the Internet Can Be a Dangerous Place

There is a lot of great information and opportunities on the Internet, but there are plenty of people trying to take advantage of everyone else as well. In order to protect yourself, you need to have the proper security measures in place, including antivirus and anti-malware. Your organization needs to be monitoring your endpoints and security, and equip your network with firewalls and security policies that keep your employees and customers safe.

If you want help securing your business, give us a call at 607.433.2200.