People Are Willing To Risk Downloading Malware For "Diet Tips"

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
You've seen the ads on the side of your web browser. "Amazing tip for a flat belly!" and other "diet tips" that definitely don't look like they're from health professionals. The ads don't appear trustworthy — but, apparently, that doesn't stop people from clicking on them.

A new survey from Intel Security found that many internet users have clicked on these types of ads, even if they think the websites advertised might be harmful to their computers.

Intel surveyed 15,000 internet users aged 21 to 54 and found that 61% of respondents "have clicked on a promotional link that offers a diet program," according to a press release from the company. And 65% of respondents were willing to share their email addresses online "in hopes of reaching their goal weight or dream body."

Even more alarming is the stat that 30% of survey respondents admitted that they have "purchased a service or product from a promotional link without knowing whether or not it's a secure site."

It's not a coincidence that Intel Security has released the survey results now, as warm weather is fast approaching. More than half of respondents indicated that they would be more likely to click diet ads before the summer.

Friendly reminder: Viruses and malware can be really nasty. They can wipe your computer of information, steal credit card data or login credentials, or hold your computer ransom until you pay money.

This depressing survey shows just how pervasive our "bikini body" culture really is. People are willing to risk accidentally downloading this kind of malware in order to achieve their "dream bodies."

Intel is reminding internet users to "browse safely," use antivirus software, and not click on suspicious links. The survey is also a good reminder that there's no such thing as a "perfect body" — and you definitely shouldn't risk downloading a computer virus in search of one.

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