Looking for free stuff online? Cybercriminals are looking for you

These days, I'm trolling the Web for free deals and work-from-home opportunities. I'm far from alone. And cybercriminals know that. Some of the riskiest searches on the Internet today are associated either with finding items for free or looking for work that can be done from home.

Internet security company McAfee recently issued a report on the world's most dangerous search terms, and it notices that Web thieves are creating more malware aimed at frugal Web surfers and home workers.

Searchers clicking on results that contain the word "free" have a 21.3% chance of infecting their PCs with spyware, spam, adware, viruses and other malware. "Work from home" searches can be as much as four times riskier than that for the typical popular search term, such as, say, "American Idol."

Searches with the least risk attached to them are those about the current economic crisis, and health-related terms. Ironically, searches using the word "Viagra," a popular keyword that is also common in spam e-mail, yielded the fewest risky sites.

Funny, if I was a cyberthief, I would be aiming for the people who still have money to spend on things like Viagra, and less apt to think I could scam any money off of people looking for free stuff. What's the reasoning for trying to make a profit off of penny-pinching Web surfers? You can download the full McAfee report here.

Read Full Story

From Our Partners