The advent of the Internet has gradually made a lot of things free, as in beer or otherwise. And people love free stuff, so unsurprisingly many turn to search sites to scour the Web for free music, movies, software and other digital media.
In said report, company researchers outlined several threats, including the threat of looking for “free” software, MP3s and streaming videos. The research found that adding the word “free” to a search for music ringtones, for example, resulted in a 300 percent increase in the riskiness of sites returned by major search engines in English.
The word “free” in other languages yielded similar results.
McAfee also reports that it has found thousands of malicious websites associated with fan clubs or comments made on social media sites, such as YouTube and Twitter.
Malicious advertising or “malvertising,” where an ad is used to distribute malware or exploit the user’s browser, is a common means of infection and not limited to unknown websites, McAfee warns. The company says that it identified “malvertising” on perezhilton.com earlier this Summer, and lots of other legitimate websites have shared that pain in the past (us included).
In short: a lot of free content is available on the Web, but that doesn’t mean it always comes without cost. Browse vigilantly. And please stop searching for pictures of Cameron Diaz.
But don’t forget to click our ads regardless – I’m told they’re perfectly safe.
McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance...