Digital Music Sites More Dangerous Than Porn

Jun 4th, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Music, Strange

Security technology firm McAfee today published an update its State of Search Engine Safety report. McAfee estimates that United States web survers make approximately 276 million monthly searches that lead to Web sites that could compromise their online safety. Surprisingly, digital music sites are twice as likely as adult sites to pose security risks to your computer.

McAfee studied the five major United States search engines — Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Ask — which account for 93 percent of all search engine use. McAfee analyzed the first 50 search results returned by each search engine for 2,300 popular keywords. The keywords were selected from lists like Google Zeitgeist and Yahoo! Buzz, among other industry sources.

Among the study’s key findings:

  • 4.0 percent of all search results link to risky Web sites ‚Äî AOL returns the safest results with 2.9 percent rated red or yellow, down from 5.3 percent in May 2006. Yahoo returned the most red or yellow results, 5.4 percent.
  • Sponsored results contain 2.4 times as many risky sites as organic sites; in fact, 6.9 percent of all sponsored results are rated red or yellow.
  • Categories related to music and technology continue to be among the most dangerous search terms. “Digital music” returns the highest percentage of risky sites at 19.1 percent, followed by “tech toys” and popular keywords like “chat” and “wallpaper.”
  • File sharing programs were also prominent among top risky keywords. Dangerous file sharing searches include “Bearshare” (45.9 percent risky results), “limewire” (37.1 percent), “kazaa” (34.9 percent) and “winmix” (32 percent).
  • Scam sites remain prevalent, representing 3.2 percent of all sponsored listings. Typical scams include download sites selling free software, ringtone sites with misleading billing practices, and work-at-home sites with deceptive terms.
  • Among adult keyword search results, risky sites increased by 17.5 percent since December 2006, and risky sites now number 9.4 percent of overall adult search results.

“We’re encouraged to see some improvement in search engine safety this year. But with four out of five Web site visits starting with a search engine query, consumers are still exposed to hundreds of millions of risky searches per month,” said Tim Dowling, vice president, Consumer Growth Initiatives, McAfee SiteAdvisor. “In fact, an active search engine user, one that performs more than 10 searches per day, is likely to visit a dangerous site at least once a day.”

Each result was compared to McAfee SiteAdvisor’s Web safety database of 8.2 million site safety ratings. Red ratings are assigned to sites found to offer adware, spyware, viruses, exploits, spammy e-mail, excessive pop-ups or strong affiliations with other red sites. Yellow ratings are given to sites which merit some caution before use. The data for the study was analyzed in May 2007.

Other detailed information contained in the report includes a comprehensive analysis of organic and sponsored results by search engine, an analysis of Google Zeitgeist keyword groups citing the safest and riskiest keyword categories, and an analysis of safety by individual keyword.

via LA Times

3 Responses to “Digital Music Sites More Dangerous Than Porn”

  1. Bristol Gigs says:

    Really great read, on the changing landscape of the music world :)

  2. Very cool your tips here in Brazil are beginning in marketing compared to other places such as the United States and India, the best to work with this is that we can have infinite number of niches to explore, like this.

Leave a Reply