Avril Lavigne rated 'most dangerous celebrity' online

Searching for Avril Lavigne's music could expose you to malware, cybersecurity firm McAfee says.

Story highlights

  • Fans searching for Lavigne at risk of being exposed to malicious sites, firm says
  • Singer dropped off the scene for health reasons but has promised new music

(CNN)Avril Lavigne is now the most dangerous celebrity to search for online, according to the cybersecurity company McAfee.

The singer-songwriter topped McAfee's Most Dangerous Celebrities study this year.
The report "reveals which celebrities generate the riskiest search results that could potentially expose their fans to malicious websites."
    "Cybercriminals continue to use the fascination of consumers with celebrity culture to drive unsuspecting users to potentially malicious websites that can be used to install malware, steal personal information and even passwords," according to a statement from McAfee.
    "The study, conducted by McAfee and now in its 11th year, highlights the dangers of clicking on suspicious links when searching for celebrity-focused content."
    Lavigne dropped off the scene for a bit, starting in 2014 as she grappled with Lyme disease.
    In August, she announced via social media that she would have some new music coming.

    A post shared by Avril Lavigne (@avrillavigne) on

    The search for Lavigne's music has contributed to her threat level.
    "In today's digital world, we want the latest hit albums, videos, movies and more, immediately available on our devices," said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee.
    "Consumers often prioritize their convenience over security by engaging in risky behavior like clicking on suspicious links that promise the latest content from celebrities. It's imperative that they slow down and consider the risks associated with searching for downloadable content. Thinking before clicking goes a long way to stay safe online."
    According to McAfee, searching for "Avril Lavigne free mp3" results in a 22% chance of encountering a malicious site.
    Lavigne is the first female music artist to rank no. 1 and replaced comedian Amy Schumer, who topped last year's list.
    Singer Bruno Mars ranked second this year.