In research published on Monday by McAfee SiteAdvisor, 5.4 percent of Yahoo searches returned links to "risky" Internet sites. AOL was found to be the safest of the top five, with 2.9 percent of sites.
According to McAfee SiteAdvisor, Yahoo returned the most results rated "red" or "yellow". "Red" rated sites failed McAfee SiteAdvisor's safety tests. "Examples are sites that distribute adware, send a high volume of spam, or make unauthorised changes to a user's computer," said the report. Examples of "Yellow" rated sites are those which send a high volume of "non-spammy" e-mail, display many pop-up ads, or prompt a user to change browser settings.
According to McAfee, overall, on Yahoo, MSN, Ask.com, Google, and AOL, sponsored searches returned more risky results than "organic" searches. Of sponsored searches, 6.9 percent returned risky content, compared with 2.9 percent of organic searches.