Irish websites are safest in Europe

three leaf clover

Irish (.ie) websites are the safest in Europe, according to new research from McAfee.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of UK sites, with the security company's Mapping the Mal Web' report reporting that we're the 55th safest when it comes to website domains.

More than 27 million country and generic web domains were analysed as part of the research, with each calculated for a weighted risk ratio'. This was carried out by testing websites for exploits, excessive pop-ups and malicious downloads, giving the sites that failed a rating.

The most riskiest web domain was Cameroon (.cm), with 36.7 per cent of sites with that suffix showing up as a potential security risk.

The country did not even make last year's list. The reason for its appearance this year is the fact that cyber criminals are relying on users accidentally mistyping domains and heading to .cm-based websites rather than .com.

Japan (.jp) was the safest country domain, while last year's worst offender Hong Kong (.hk) fell from number one to the 34th most risky domain, thanks to measures taken to clamp down on scam-related registrations.

This means that only 1.1 per cent of .hk websites poses a risk, as opposed to one in five last year. China (.cn) kept its spot as one of the top five dangerous places for websites, with 23.4 per cent of sites at risk compared to 11.8 per cent last year.

"This report underscores how quickly cyber criminals change tactics to lure in the most victims and avoid being caught," said McAfee chief technology officer Mike Gallagher in a statement.

"Last year, Hong Kong was the riskiest domain and this year it is dramatically safer. Cyber criminals target regions where registering sites is cheap and convenient, and pose the least risk of being caught."

Interestingly, .com, the most heavily trafficked web domain, jumped from the ninth to the second most dangerous domain. Government (.gov) was the safest non-country domain.