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McAfee: Lily Collins may destroy your computer

Helen A.S. Popkin, NBC News
Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013 | 5:31 PM ET
Actress Lily Collins
Imeh Akpanudosen | Getty Images
Actress Lily Collins

Harry Potter star Emma Watson is a has-been!

The girl we watched grow up as Hermione Granger may have a bright future as an actress and fashion icon, but her dubious distinction as "Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrity" has been usurped by the female star of the latest supernatural series to hit the big screen, "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" star Lily Collins.

Collins, daughter of musician Phil Collins and No. 4 on People's "Most Beautiful Women" in 2012, is McAfee's No. 1 celebrity most likely to lead to a computer virus for 2013. According to the Internet security firm, searching for the latest Lily Collins pictures and downloads yields a nearly one-in-seven chance of "landing on a website that has tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware."

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McAfee: New Risks to Mobile Security
Todd Gebhart, co-president at McAfee, warns of new risks to mobile security, and adds that one-third of users do not bother with passwords.

While Watson, who owned the McAfee's No. 1 spot in 2012, didn't make the top 10 this year, eight other famous ladies did, none of which are—surprisingly—Miley Cyrus, who twerks in at No. 20. Musician Avril Lavigne and Sandra Bullock—Oscar-winning actress and star of the upcoming 3-D space thriller "Gravity"—came in at No. 2 and 3 respectively.

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Jon Hamm earned the distinction of being the only male to make the top 10 for dangerous celebrity searches, and no wonder! The "Mad Men" star inspired a lot of image searches in March, following Web chatter over whether Hamm went "commando" while on the set of his hit AMC series. (Talk about dangerous!)

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McAfee's Most Dangerous Celebrity list, now in its seventh year, comes, with the obligatory (and helpful!) warnings and tips on how to protect yourself while cybersurfing:

*Be suspicious - If a search turns up a link to free content or too-good-to-be-true offers.

*Be extra cautious when searching on hot topics - Cybercriminals set up fake and malicious sites that dominate these time-sensitive search results.

*Check the Web address - Look for misspellings or other clues that the link might be directed to a phony website."

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As Robert Siciliano, McAfee online security and safety evangelist, notes in a blog post about this year's Most Dangerous list, "while it's probably not feasible for us to stop searching on the latest hot topics and celebrity gossip, we can make sure we are safe while doing so."

Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah abut the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook.

By Helen A.S. Popkin, NBC News