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Public holiday? Not for spammers

Public holidays are supposed to be a relaxing time, but constant email notifications could remind you of a day at the office. Unfortunately, SPAM robots don’t rest on the same days we do, and actually increase their junk mail delivery on special occasions.

If you noticed a big spike in SPAM emails last week, it’s most likely because the USA just celebrated Mothers Day. While the world typically experiences 97 billion spam emails per day, security firm Symantec noted that around holidays – including Mothers Day – this volume increases dramatically.

The firm noted the following subject lines to avoid – you may have noticed a couple appear in your inbox:

· Subject: Don’t Forget Mother’s Day – $19.99 Chocolate, Dipped Strawberries

· Subject: Stunning Personalized Gifts for Mother’s Day

· Subject: Top Personalized Mother’s Day Gifts

· Subject: Make Mother’s Day Special With A Personalized Gift

· Subject: Mother’s Day Car Deal (Half Off Every Make And Model)

· Subject: Regarding Mothers Day

· Subject: Celebrate Mom with a $19.99 bouquet.

· Subject: Mother’s Day Replica’s Women’s Accessories

· Subject: Mother’s Day Secret Formula.

How to avoid SPAM

If you saw any of these appear in your inbox – or even if you didn’t – you have to know how to deal with it, otherwise you could end up with serious problems with your computer.

For a start, it’s important to avoid any unsolicited emails. It’s a simple: if you don’t know why an email is in your inbox, you shouldn’t open it. If everyone avoided opening email they weren’t expecting, we could massively reduce the number of issues related to SPAM messages and malware.

Second, it’s important to avoid clicking any links inside emails. Even if you see a good offer from a newsletter that you’re subscribed to, it’s better to visit that website directly by typing their address into your web browser, rather than just click the link. This is because a criminal could be impersonating that service, and sending you to a harmful website.

Finally, be careful what your friends send you, because it might not actually be them. Lots of computer viruses spread themselves by posing as an email from a friend. And once you open it, the virus downloads, you’re infected and your friends become the next target. Telltale signs of malicious emails from your friends are out-of-context messages, as well as strange language that they wouldn’t usually use.

And remember: be extra careful around holidays.

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