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Search Engines Pose Security Risks, According to McAfee

Search Engines Pose Security Risks, According to McAfee

This via Pandia; “McAfee has published a study on the security risks of Internet searching together with the spyware-expert Ben Edelman.”

Here’s a few snippets from the report:

“We find most leading search engines similar in the safety of the sites they link to, though MSN is the safest and Ask lags noticeably behind. Across search engines, we find sponsored results significantly less safe than search engines’ organic results. We find heightened risks for certain keywords, including those frequently searched by kids and novice users.”

“There was little correlation between search result placement and safety. Page 1 results were only moderately safer than results for pages 2-5.”

“Across all search terms we analyze, a Google ad is on average more than twice as likely to take a user to an unsafe site than is a Google organic link. At Ask, the difference is especially pronounced: Their sponsored results are almost four times as risky as their organic listings.”

And you know, I don’t think that this problem is going to go away, even as “novice users” become more educated. The ads will just continue to become more insidious. Kind of reminds me of this recent Threadwatch post, tactfully titled “Dumb People Click Ads.”

Category SEO

Wendy Boswell is the Editor for About Web Search and part of the New York Times Company.

Search Engines Pose Security Risks, According to McAfee

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