Which search terms would make it on the list if you would have to compile a list of the ten most dangerous web search terms? Most users would probably add search terms like warez, cracks and sex when asked to compile a top ten list. A recent McAfee study on the other hand came to a completely different conclusion. The ten most dangerous web search terms are everyday search terms that cannot be connected easily with malicious intent. The top spot is occupied by searches for Screensavers, followed by free games, work from home and Rihanna with Barrack Obama, the iPhone and Taxes in the list as well. It should however be noted that the top 10 list is made up of categories and not single search terms.
These search terms are more dangerous than, lets say warez, because most users know that warez can lead to malicious software quite easily while they most likely do not suspect the same from these popular search terms.
The McAfee researches searched for more than 2600 popular keywords examining the first five pages of results across five popular search engines with McAfee's Site Advisor technology. The top 50 most dangerous search terms in the US were listed in the research paper as well. The phrase "word unscrambler" is taking up the top spot followed by lyrics, myspace and free music downloads.
The researches discovered that lyrics and free made up the two most category-specific risks on the web these days. The research paper can be downloaded directly at McAfee.
Generally speaking, the more popular a search term the higher the risk that search results will be polluted with malicious contents.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.