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Web’s Most Dangerous Keywords

Which is the most dangerous keyword to search for using public search engines these days?

It’s “screensavers” with a maximum risk of 59.1 percent, according to McAfee’s recently released report “The Web’s Most Dangerous Search Terms“.

Upon searching for 2,658 unique popular keywords and phrases across 413,368 unique URLs, McAfee’s research concludes that lyrics and anything that includes ‘free” has the highest risk percentage of exposing users to malware and fraudulent web sites. The research further states that the category with the safest risk profile are health-related search terms.

Here are more findings:

  • The categories with the worst maximum risk profile were lyrics keywords (26.3%) and phrases that include the word “free” (21.3%). If a consumer landed at the riskiest search page for a typical lyrics search, one of four results would be risky
  • The categories with the worst average risk profile were also lyrics sites (5.1%) and “free” sites (7.3%)
  • The categories with the safest risk profile were health-related search terms and searches concerning the recent economic crisis. The maximum risk on a single page of queries on the economy was 3.5% and only 0.5% risky across all results. Similarly, even the worst page for health queries had just 4.0% risky sites and just 0.4% risk overall

This isn’t the first time McAfee is attempting to assess the risk percentage of particular search terms, as the company did similar studies in 2006 and 2007. And whereas the research attempts to raise awareness on malicious practices applied by cybercriminals, it also has the potential to leave a lot of people with a false feeling of security since it’s basically scratching the surface of a very dynamic problem.

*taken from an article in zdnet.com
*full article here

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