Malware attacks are on the rise. They have increased by more than 200% since we started working remotely.
There are many ways to sneak malware onto our devices. But one of the common methods is to hide malware links in the URLs of the most searched and downloaded software.
This worrying fact inspired the latest research from online privacy expert Surfshark. The VPN provider analyzed data from the Sucuri Malware Detection Tool to create several tables highlighting the most dangerous software to search for and download.
Here is an overview of all the results:
The most dangerous software
Avid is the most dangerous software to search for; 64.04% of search results may contain malware.
Substance 3D Painter, a video game and movie production software, is the second most dangerous software for Google. If you click on any URL that “links” to the Adobe application, you have a 57.32% chance of exposing your device to a cyber attack.
The most dangerous browser software
Many internet users are turning their backs on Google in favor of alternative browsers and search engines that promote privacy.
Hackers know this. And they are taking advantage of this new trend by infecting alternative browser links with malware.
If you’re looking for a new search engine, be extremely careful when clicking on links that mention the Vivaldi browser. Vivaldi is everything that Google is not. Vivaldi is privacy-based, politically neutral, and believes that people’s rights are more important than profit. But according to data from Surfshark, nearly 4 out of 10 (39.53%) of links will leave you wishing you’d stayed with Google.
Again, Google isn’t that much safer when it comes to the potential for malware attacks. Surfshark researchers found that 29.87% of Google Chrome URLs have been compromised with malware.
Creative software full of malware
Creative software is not cheap. The best editing and animation software such as Avid can cost around $500 per year.
That’s a lot of money if you’re a freelancer living from invoice to invoice.
So it’s no surprise that many freelancers are trying to cut costs by turning to Torrents to download the software they need to create work that impresses clients.
This explains why so many creative software URLs are full of malware. 64.04% of Avid software URLs contain malicious links – the highest among software included in the study.
Ads should also click with (extreme) caution when looking for free versions of V-Ray (53.76%) and vector graphics editing software CorelDRAW (49.47%).
Dangerous crypto wallet to search for online
Crypto and Bitcoin have the potential to revolutionize the future of money and finance for the better.
But right now, this nascent (and largely unregulated) industry is still full of scammers, scammers, and outright criminals (yes, Samuel Bankman-Fried, we’re talking about you.)
URLs linking to popular crypto wallets are a common delivery method for malware.
If you want to keep your crypto stack safe, be careful when Googling anything related to Lumi Wallet. Lumi Wallet is a secure and anonymous crypto wallet that allows you to buy, sell and exchange more than 1200 coins – proving that you click on a secure link.
According to Surfshark, only around half of all Lumi Wallet URLs are 100% secure. There is a good chance that the remaining half are Trojan horses for malware attacks.
Small business software is most likely to contain malware
Finding the right small business software is super important for entrepreneurs and freelancers. It makes everything so much easier. The best applications streamline invoice payments, workflows and accounting processes, meaning small business owners can focus on doing what they do best.
The slightest disruption to service can be devastating for small business owners and freelancers. One missed email is all it takes to lose a new client.
If you need to be ultra-responsive 24/7, do everything you can to avoid malware and cyber attacks. So the next time you’re researching new software to supercharge your business, be aware of clicking on links that mention Hubstaff, Nimble, Box, Act, Paychex Flex, and Freshsales.
They are all excellent pieces of software. But at least 40% of all their URLs are potential vehicles for malware and other cyberattacks.
Malware risk on social media
Misinformation can be widespread on social media. However, these firms have done a pretty good job of limiting the spread of malware attacks.
As long as you download the official apps, it’s unlikely that you’ll catch malware while surfing social media.
However, be aware when following the latest Twitter trends. Almost half (48.3%) of Twitter search results contain potential malware.
Always follow the golden rule: if it links dubious, then it probably is dubious. Never click on anything that looks even slightly suspicious.
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