A new report from McAfee, “The True Cost of Free Entertainment,” warns of the risks associated with searching for free content.
According to eSecurity Planet, McAfee found that users that type the word “free” into Google along with any other term are three times more likely to be redirected to a malicious website than if they had just searched for whatever it was they were looking for in the first place.
McAfee also discovered “thousands” of malicious or “highly suspicious” URLs connected to fan clubs or comments made on Twitter, YouTube and other popular social media sites. Says Paula Greve, McAfee’s director of Web security research:
Consumers are visiting fan sites, downloading movies and reading celebrity news, but generally aren’t aware of the risks … They can access ‘free’ content quickly and easily, but it actually comes at a price. Consumers must stay aware of the risks and be on the lookout for potential new dangers.