The Internet’s most dangerous celebrities

X Factor judge and pop star Cheryl Cole was named Britain’s “most dangerous celebrity” online Wednesday by a security firm measuring the amount of malicious websites linked to a star’s name.

McAfee Labs said internet searches for US comedian and television presenter Jimmy Kimmel are even more dangerous because they carry a higher risk of landing on a website that has tested positive for online threats such as spyware and adware.

Search results for Cole – the newly-wed, whose married surname is now Fernandez-Versini – carried a 15-per-cent chance of getting ambushed by hackers, the company said, while search queries for Kimmel carry a 19-per-cent risk of infection.

“Most consumers don’t realize the security risks they’re exposing themselves to when searching for celebrity videos and images online,” McAfee’s Samantha Humphries-Swift said.

Cole topped a “dangerous celebrities” list in Britain that included all five members of boy band One Direction as well as football great David Beckham. Cole came in just ahead of Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe.

Kimmel, host of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, led a US list stacked with music industry luminaries like Christina Aguilera and Bruce Springsteen.

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The Internet’s most dangerous celebrities