It’s a cruel world out there for the cineastes who want to go online and feel safe and secure while thoughtfully studying Dirty Grandpa-centered film criticism. As it turns out, there is no pop culture search term more likely to result in a malware infection than the name of that cinema classic’s star, Robert De Niro.
A study published by digital security company Surfshark looked into the pop culture search terms that most often lead to malware-infected sites. The results are based on Surfshark “curating seed lists of the most popular search terms across a variety of pop culture categories,” searching for them on Google with added qualifiers like “torrent,” “download,” “stream,” or “MP3,” and then analyzing which links contained malware.
While De Niro was the top overall term (with 54.1% of URLs containing potential malware), actors like Jake Gyllenhaal (53.6%), Anthony Hopkins (52.6%), Kate Winslet (52.6%), and Margot Robbie (52%) were just behind him in the results.
Actors dominated pop culture terms in general, but Surfshark also published the top results within other categories.
The most dangerous movie is, it turns out, Finding Dory, followed by Beauty And The Beast and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. (There’s a joke in there about not trusting fishy search results.) For TV shows, the top results include Breaking Bad, Sex Education, and Emily In Paris. The most virus-ridden video game results are led by Mortal Kombat 11, Fall Guys, and Grand Theft Auto V, and websites reached after searching musicians like Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, and Eminem are just crawling with digital disease.
To check out more of Surfshark’s findings—and protect yourself from accidentally downloading a De Niro- or Dory-based virus—head on over to the study’s site.
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