mcfee.jpgNowadays I always search the web when looking for any topic, checking for an event, or trying to find directions. I don’t usually think when searching, that some searches are riskier that others.

Scammers are always looking for more traffic to their sites, and lately started to look for organic traffic to get to their victims.
McAfee conducted a study that focuses on this trend by analyzing over 2000 of the most popular keywords and phrases used in search engines.
They came out with an interesting report that shows how much risk is associated to each keyword or phrase you might use in the search engines.

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The riskiest keywords were the most popular ones such as: word unscrambler, lyrics, myspace, free music downloads….
By looking at the riskiest keywords, they concluded that scammers keep targeting popular keywords to gain more traffic and target a larger pool of victims.

This study was used mainly with the McAfee SiteAdvisor tool. SiteAdvisor rates sites with color codes, green being safe, yellow minor risk, and red high risk. SiteAdvisor is a plugin that you can use with you explorer and firefox browser and allows you to see the risk of a site before using it. In this study Mcfee gathered the first five pages of search results for each keyword and counted the number of red and yellow rated sites on each page. Risk was assessed as a ratio of the red and yellow sites to the green sites. Both sponsored and organic links are counted in the study.

The good news is that this study shows that the web is safer than previously thought. The average risk level according to this study fell from 4% to 1.7%.

To learn more about the report click here.

Regards.