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Sometimes it takes you clicking on the ad to open up a dangerous website, but other times it triggers this without you doing anything at all, potentially infecting your device with malware in the process.

Ever tried to visit a website and instead had some weird warning flash up telling you that you have a virus, or pushing another product, or just generally the page you’re seeing is totally different to what you expected?

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.

You never really know for sure if the ripped-off version of that TV show you’re after is the real deal, or if it’s actually a trap posted by cyber thieves to trick you into willingly downloading malware, including viruses and Trojans. Among the many dangerous forms of malware distributed this way is ransomware – a particularly unpleasant piece of code that takes your files hostage and makes you pay for them to be released.

In spite of the development of advanced anti-spam software, individuals and businesses alike suffer the consequences of spam email that finds its way to the inbox.

However, as annoying as it can be, spam is relatively easy to deal with.

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.

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