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Surfing for free stuff online can be expensive

McAfee new study "The True Cost of Free Entertainment" reveals that using the word 'free' for an online search mainly with entertainment related content increases users chance of viewing a website infected with malware.

As per the report, hacking is a huge business, and online media is one of hackers' biggest sources of making money. Demand for digital media whether its video, music, television or other streaming content is always high, and hackers are hackers are exploiting its reputation in every way they can.

Also, hackers use sensational news and hot topics to make users click on the spam mails or install the "must-see videos". According to the data, adding the search term "free" while searching for music ringtone raises the possibility of attacking a harmful site by 300%.

The report stated that looking for lyrics for a specific artist is twice harmful on an average for searching "ringtone" for the same artist for the first five pages detected.

The use of term "MP3" raises the risk of music searches. There has been a 40% rise in the volume of websites hosting infected MP3 files.

Moreover, 12% of websites that circulate unlawful content are spreading malware, and 7% of sites which are offering unauthentic content associated with hackers groups.

Experts opine that the sites usually appear very professional and try to attract the user via trial period. If the users agree, they need to authorize their systems to use and interact with systems that are indulged in malware business. With this access, user system is personalized with all of its user agents, software versions, and any other date and data can be provided to third parties for harmful purposes.

In order to be secure, users have recommended to avoid looking for "free" content, not to click on web links in banner ads on music, movie, and install sites that are not well made and particularly use inclusive security software and keep it updated to protect from the latest threats.

Related article: SharePoint Security Fails To Protect Users

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