'Just Google it' has become such a common part of our daily lingo, it would seem counter-intuitive to think this simple act could actually lead to a negative outcome. However, research from our client, McAfee, highlights it is this exact act that can no longer be taken for granted.
Their research found Australia's own Ruby Rose to be the most likely celeb to lead to dodgy websites and potential viruses and malware if Googled. But what does that mean? Surely it's someone's job to ensure these kinds of sites are taken down as soon as they're found, and those who created them are made accountable to the innocent Googling public can look up celebrities online guilt and cyber threat free... right?
Well, kind of.
There are some great organisations tackling this problem every day, including the ACCC's Scamwatch, which encourages people to report these types of website as soon as they see them. There's Stay Smart Online, which provides alerts of the latest scams and threats, the AFP has its own cyber crime section on its website for reporting, educating and managing fraud and online scams, and the list goes on.
The one piece of advice all of these organisations and sites have in common, though, is that it is critical to not take this protection for granted. We all need to take responsibility for our own cybersecurity and safety. These days, it's still the simple things that are going to get you into the most trouble - clicking on a link (such as one to a supposed website about Ruby Rose) that has an unusual-looking URL, not changing your passwords on a regular basis, downloading files (such as a supposed photo of Ruby Rose) with irrelevant file names or formats, and not keeping your security software up to date are where you're most likely to trip up.
While the cybercriminals around the world are getting savvier by the day, we need to be more prepared than ever, starting with the basics.
Internet security firm McAfee released the findings of their study yesterday, stating Rose, more than any other celebrity, poses the biggest risk for users Googling her in regards to inadvertently clicking on a bung link that’ll wind up wrecking your shit.