Ronaldo is the most dangerous footballer in cyber space
Ronaldo is the most dangerous footballer in cyber space

As Euro 2012 reaches its climax, Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo has been revealed to be the most dangerous player in cyber space.

According to research by McAfee, cyber criminals are exploiting the names of popular sports stars and celebrities to attract people to sites that actually conceal malicious software.

Analysis of the most popular players and teams, by McAfee SiteAdvisor, to find out who are the most hazardous on the web identified Cristiano Ronaldo as the most ‘dangerous', with France and Portugal tied at the most dangerous national team.

It said that fans on the internet looking for 'Cristiano Ronaldo', 'Cristiano Ronaldo and download', 'Cristiano Ronaldo and photos' or 'Cristiano Ronaldo and videos' may run into online threats that could steal their personal information. Clicking on these dangerous sites to download files such as photos, videos or screensavers may expose surfers to viruses and malware.

Ronaldo gained the highest percentage of overall risk of 6.2 per cent, according to SiteAdvisor. He was followed by Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic with five per cent and England captain Steven Gerrard with 4.5 per cent.

Italian players dominated the rankings, with Buffon (3.8 per cent), Giorgio Chiellini (3.7 per cent), Balotelli (3.4 per cent), Pirlo (3.3 per cent), Di Natale (3.3 per cent), Cassano (3.1 per cent) and De Rossi (1.8 per cent) making up the top ten.

The study also revealed that national flags to adorn your windows are the safest items to search for online, but searching for shirts can also be hazardous.