McAfee Finds Lyrics and Free Download Searches Most Dangerous Search Keywords

Posted on May 29, 2009

Search Engine Watch reports that McAfee recently compiled a list of the most dangerous keywords - keywords that can send you to a page that might install a malicious program on your computer. Keywords like lyrics and "free" were some of the most risky search terms to use.

You might want to think twice about searching for song lyrics or free stuff. At a minimum you should make sure you have your anti-virus software completely up-to-date before searching.
Security technology company McAfee has identified the world's most dangerous search terms. They searched 2,600 keywords culled from several of the top keyword lists from sources such as search engines and Hitwise. They then ranked them based on risky downloads, browser exploits, email practices, phishing, excessive popups, and linking practices.

The risk for your average search results is low, at just 1.7%. That means if your search returns 250 results, about 4 of them are risky.

But there are certain categories and terms that are more risky than others. Searching for something with the word "free" attached turns out to be a risky venture indeed. Want lyrics to a song? 1 in 4 of the results for an average lyrics search are risky.
Clearly this is a category you may want to avoid doing random searches for. If you do need to search for lyrics you may want to be sure to follow a site you already know is safe. Take a look at the list here on Search Engine Watch to see which search keywords are most likely to take you to a malware or phising site.
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