Skip to navigationSkip to content

Risky celebs: Your love for Bollywood could cost you your computer

AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool
By Madhura Karnik
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

If you are in India and searching for celebrity gossip online, beware. Some searches would most probably expose your computer to viruses and malware.

A new study by Intel Security, owner of the McAfee virus protection products, has ranked the riskiest Bollywood celebrity searches. Actress Sonakshi Sinha tops the list.

This means whenever someone looks for anything on Sinha, they are at the highest risk. For instance, a search term like ”Sonakshi Sinha + Torrent”, would mean a “21% chance of connecting to a malicious website,” the study says.

The overall risk quotient for searches related to Sinha is 11.11%. Here’s the rest of the list:

Hackers are evidently taking advantage of India’s unending love for Bollywood, with movie aficionados spending hours online looking for news on awards, movie premiers or even celebrity breakups. Fans are often enticed to click on sites loaded with malware that could hide in your computer and steal sensitive personal information.

“Cinema and celebrity culture continue to be synonymous with Indian consumers,” Venkat Krishnapur, head of R&D operations for Intel Security’s India Development Centre, said in a statement. “Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting consumers who access information-on-the-go, without considering the potential security risks online around celebrity interest.”

Intel used many commonly searched terms—”celebrity name + torrent,” “celebrity name + mp3,” and “celebrity name + HD download”—on Google, Bing, and Yahoo to draw conclusions.

So before you search “Sonakshi Sinha + mp3” the next time, think twice.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.