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A group of tiny islands in the South Pacific is the most dangerous place on the web, according to security firm McAfee.

An interactive map produced by the company shows Tokelau’s .tk domain has the highest proportion of nuisance sites that are tracked by its SiteAdvisor security software.

Russia and Romania’s domains are the most likely to host exploit or ‘drive-by-download’ sites.

The map shows the risks of a range of web-based activities at country domains, like registering at a site or downloading a file.

The firm also studied generic domains and found .info had the highest proportion of dodgy sites.

Mark Maxwell, senior product manager, McAfee Consumer and Small Business, said:

"When it comes to safety, it turns out that the web is no different than the physical world. There are safe neighborhoods and safe web domains, and then there are places no one should ever visit."

Three of the five least risky country domains are Nordic countries - 0.10% of sites registered at Finland's domain are risky, compared to Norway's 0.16% and Sweden's 0.21%. That compares to Tokelau's 10.1%.

Iceland (0.19%) and Ireland (0.11%) round out the top five least dangerous, while the UK is the 51st most risky.

McAfee said higher levels of risk tend to be driven by low or no-cost domain registration and a lack of domain oversight.

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Published 13 March, 2007 by Richard Maven

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