With online video consumption on the rise, given the nation-wide stay-at-home orders, McAfee researched the risks Indian consumers could potentially be exposed to when browsing the web for popular online entertainment content. As subscription-based models and content behind paywalls continue to trend, users who do not want to pay for premium content will continue searching for free content online, exposing themselves to a host of vulnerabilities.
“The lockdown induced surge in online entertainment traffic has brewed the perfect storm for cybercriminals. They are following and targeting consumers’ obsession with accessing content – particularly for free. They entice users to visit potentially malicious websites, designed to install malware or steal passwords and personal information,” said Venkat Krishnapur, vice-president of engineering and managing director, McAfee India. “In these uncertain times, it is crucial that consumers stay vigilant, invest in responsible online behaviour and recognize that if something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.”
From an analysis of more than one hundred most talked about entertainment titles available across today’s leading streaming providers, McAfee identified a “top 10 web risk list” for both television and movies. Ranked in order of web search risk (from highest to lowest) as identified by McAfee’s Web Advisor platform, Delhi Crime and Mardaani 2 took the top place in their respective categories.
Top 10 Web Risk List: Television – India
- Delhi Crime
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Top 10 Web Risk List: Movies – India
- Mardaani 2
- Jawaani Jaaneman
- Love Aaj Kal
- Gully Boy
- Most Targeted Television Genre – Regional Shows: Global players are recognizing the need to build hyper local, India-centric offerings. Viewership of regional language content is growing, and the rise in consumption of vernacular TV shows in metros and semi-urban India is an apt reflection of this. Driving the demand for regional, UGC and short content is evident with shows such as Delhi Crime, Panchayat, Akoori and Ghoul leading the pack. Establishing the importance of basic cybersecurity hygiene is a key element in developing an informed netizen.
- Most targeted Movie Genre – Bollywood Films: When it comes to movies in India, it is no surprise that Bollywood is king. More than a third of the movies featuring in this list are box office hits like Mardaani 2, Chapaak, Love Aaj Kal, Bahubali and Gully Boy. This finding suggests that the popularity of Bollywood cinema may drive consumers to search for free access to trending and latest releases that they aren’t currently subscribed to.
Here’s McAfee’s Top Tips to Stay Safe Online this Watching Season:
- Be careful what you click. Users looking to catch up on season 2 of Ghoul, or a way to have Gully Boy on repeat should be cautious and only access entertainment content directly from a reliable source. The safest thing to do is to subscribe to a streaming site that offers the content or download the movie from sources like Netflix or Amazon, instead of downloading a “free” version from a website that could potentially contain malware.
- Refrain from using illegal streaming sites. Many illegal streaming sites are riddled with malware disguised as pirated video files. Do your device a favor and stream the show from a reputable source.
- Protect your online realm with a cybersecurity solution. Send your regards to malicious actors with a comprehensive security solution like McAfee Total Protection. This can help protect you from malware, phishing attacks, and other threats. It also includes McAfee WebAdvisor, which helps alert users of malicious websites.
- Use parental control software. Kids are tech savvy and may search for movies by themselves. Ensure that limits are set on your child’s device and use software that can help minimize exposure to potentially malicious or inappropriate websites.