On the field, M.S. Dhoni can be a delight to watch for his cricket fans. Off it, he can be dangerous, albeit unintentionally. He has emerged as the riskiest celebrity on the internet this year. Sachin Tendulkar comes next on McAfee’s Most Dangerous Celebrity list for 2019. The ranking is based on a study by the cybersecurity firm to identify celebrities who generate the riskiest results when searched for online, an exercise that could expose their fans to malicious websites and viruses.

The modus operandi of cyber criminals is simple. They attach malware to names of celebrities to bait unsuspecting fans. Major content providers are putting up paywalls, and some web surfers try to get around this by clicking on pirated content or unreliable links to watch sports or movies. Cyber criminals exploit this behaviour, especially of fans who instinctively click on any search result. Millennials seem to be soft targets for such phishing expeditions. They must stay highly alert to malware. Else, they risk their devices secretly being installed with bugs that spy on them to relay bank information, passwords and other critical data to shadowy spymasters—all for the love of a cricketer.

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