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Most people are much more cautious than they used to be about opening any attachments that crop up in an email, even when they seem to have been sent from someone you know.

But some of these scams are getting pretty sophisticated and you need to be vigilant about which emails you trust and what you open.

Don’t give into your curiosity – if it’s malware, getting rid of it could be a nightmare.“Malvertising” is a growing and pernicious problem – not least because it provides a way of wheedling into sites and platforms you’d expect to be sound.

Brands like Spotify, for example, was hit with a severe malicious advertising attack in 2016, impacting millions of users.

Malware directly threatens devices by triggering automatic software downloads, while phishing scams try to capture personal or financial information in order to steal the user’s identity, money and security.

Many antivirus software providers offer anti-malware protection, but phishing scams can be more difficult to avoid.

If you know the person but you’re not expecting them to send you a file, or if there is anything odd about the email (the message doesn’t sound like them, for example, or they haven’t explained what the attachment is) don’t open it either. Give them a call, compose a fresh email or contact them some other way to check whether or not it really came from them.Please be advised that the operator of this site accepts advertising compensation from companies that appear on the site, and such compensation impacts the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) To the extent that ratings appear on this site, such rating is determined by our subjective opinion and based on a methodology that aggregates our analysis of brand market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, compensation paid to us and general consumer interest.Company listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement.Typically with pre-ticked boxes for extras, these offer a free trial, some form of browser extension or a change to your default search engine to something you’ve never heard of before. More than just an irritation, there’s every chance you’re really getting saddled with spyware that tracks what you do online and sends this back to the malware’s creator, possibly along with any sensitive data it’s captured, too.It’s also possible that you’ve inadvertently downloaded a Trojan Horse – a vulnerability-riddled piece of software that opens your computer up to future attack.

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