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The most dangerous pieces of software to search for and download

Malware attacks are on the rise. They’ve increased by more than 200% since we started working remotely.

There are plenty of ways to sneak malware onto our devices. But one of the common methods is hiding malware links within the URLs of the most searched for and downloaded pieces of software.

This worrying fact inspired the latest research from online privacy expert Surfshark. The VPN provider analyzed data from Sucuri Malware Detection Tool to create several tables highlighting the most dangerous software to search and download.

Here's a breakdown of all the results:

The most dangerous software

Avid is the most dangerous piece of software to search for; 64.04% of its search results may contain malicious malware.


Substance 3D Painter, a software for video game and film production, is the second most dangerous software to Google. Clicking on any URLs 'linking' to the Adobe application means you have a 57.32% chance of exposing your device to a cyberattack.

Most dangerous browser software

Many internet users are turning their back on Google in favor of alternative browsers and search engines that promote privacy.

Hackers know this. And they're exploiting this new trend by infecting alternative browser links with malware.


If you're looking for a new search engine, be extremely careful when clicking any links mentioning Vivaldi Browser. Vivaldi is everything that Google isn't. Vivaldi is privacy based, politically neutral, and thinks people's rights are more important than profits. But, according to the data from Surfshark, nearly 4 out of 10 (39.53%) of its links will leave you wishing you'd stayed with Google.
Then again, Google isn't that much safer, as far as the potential for malware attacks goes. Surfshark researchers found that 29.87% of Google Chrome URLs have been compromised with malware.

Creative software riddled with malware

Creative software is not cheap. The best pieces of editing and animation software like 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 try to cut costs by turning to Torrents to download the software they need to create work that wows clients.

This explains why so many creative software URLs are riddled with malware. 64.04% of Avid Software URLs contain malicious links - the highest of any software included in the study.

Creatives should also click with (extreme) caution when looking for free versions of V-Ray (53.76%) and vector graphics editor 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 emerging (and largely unregulated) industry is still full of scammers, fraudsters, 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, take care when Googling anything to do with Lumi Wallet. Lumi Wallet is a secure and anonymous crypto wallet that lets you buy, sell, and exchange more than 1200 coins - proving you click on a safe link.

According to Surfshark, only around half of all Lumi Wallet URLs are 100% safe and secure. There's a good chance that the remaining half are trojan horses for malware attacks.

Small business software 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 smallest disruption of service can be devastating to small business owners and freelancers. One unanswered email is all it takes to miss out on a new client.


If you need to be ultra-responsive 24/7, do everything possible to avoid malware and cyberattacks. So the next time you're researching new software to supercharge your business, be mindful of clicking on any links mentioning Hubstaff, Nimble, Box, Act, Paychex Flex, and Freshsales.

They're all excellent pieces of software. But at least 40% of all their URLs are potential vehicles for malware and other cyberattacks.

Malware risks on social media

Misinformation might be rife across social media. However, these firms have done a pretty good job of containing the spread of malware attacks.

As long as you download the official apps, it's unlikely that you'll catch malware while cruising the socials.


Still, be a little mindful when catching up on the very latest Twitter trends. Nearly half (48.3%) of Twitter search results contain potential malware.

Always follow the golden rule: if that links dodgy, then it probably is dodgy. Never click on anything that looks even slightly suspicious.

Read next: The best (and worst) pieces of business support software

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