Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dangerous Web Search Words

ZDNet has an interesting article on words that are dangerous to search on. The top one is “screensavers.” By searching on this word, you have the greatest chance of stumbling on a malicious or fradulant website. “Lyrics” or anything with “free” in it is run a close second and third. The safest searches are associated with health related topics.

The idea behind the study is that blackhats (people intent on doing harm over the Internet) use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to direct their attacks on those most likely to either fall for fraud or open their computers up to exploitation. They will use current topics to direct traffic to their sites. For example, the swine flu epidemic triggered related key words to bring up sites preying on people worried about the pandemic.

As the article states, in reality there are thousands of malicious sites and even legitimate ones can be hijacked and carry harmful code. The best protection is to not wander around in the “dark reaches of the Internet” and keep your computer up to date with virus protection, anti malware and updates.

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