NEW YORK >> One-time pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne has beaten superstar Beyonce at something, but she may not be totally happy with her victory — she’s been named the most dangerous celebrity on the internet.
Cybersecurity firm McAfee said Tuesday that Lavigne, whose last album came out in 2013, was the most likely celebrity to land users on websites that carry viruses or malware. Searches for Lavigne have a 14.5 percent chance of landing on a web page with the potential for online threats, a number that increases to 22 percent if users type her name and search for free MP3s.
Bruno Mars was second in his debut on the list, followed closely behind by Carly Rae Jepsen. Zayn Malik (No. 4), Celine Dion (No. 5), Calvin Harris (No. 6), Justin Bieber (No. 7), Sean “Diddy” Combs (No. 8), Katy Perry (No. 9) and Beyonce (No. 10) rounded out the top 10 list.
It’s a dubious step up for Lavigne, who was ranked No. 2 in 2013. Lavigne, whose hits include “Sk8er Boi,” ”Complicated” and “I’m With You,” has been out of the spotlight for several years as she battles Lyme disease.
McAfee had a few suggestions for why Lavigne scored so high on the 11th annual list: Interest after the artist said she’s working on a new album, a feature story on her by E! Online and an internet conspiracy that she has been replaced by an impostor.
Lavigne is the first female musician to take the No. 1 spot and replaced Amy Schumer, named the most dangerous celebrity on the internet in 2016. In 2015, it was Dutch trance DJ van Buuren.
The survey is meant to highlight the danger of clicking on suspicious links. McAfee urges internet users to consider risks associated with searching for downloadable content. The company used its own site ratings to compile the celebrity list and used searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo.