Worried about Swine Flu? If so, don’t let your fear and anxiety dupe you into clicking dubious links in emails. Spammers are increasingly using Swine Flu in subject lines and messages to take advantage of people’s fears of the rapidly-spreading Influenza strain, according to McAfee’s Advert Labs Blog.

Prior to last weekend, Swine Flu spam was practically unheard of. But since Monday, the volume of such spam had exploded, according to McAfee’s David Marcus. The largest chunk of Swine Flu spam originates in Brazil, but sizable portions also came from the United States and United Kingdom. Subject lines include “Madonna caught swine flu!,” “US swine flu statistics,” and “Swine flu in USA.”

Swine Flu spam isn’t necessarily pushing antiviral drugs; some spam links to sites peddling malware (such as one site that tries to install a fake codec trojan). If you receive any such emails, don’t click any links or open any attachments.

This form of spam is not uncommon with hot news topics. Avoid clicking on any subject with the Swine Flu.

Take everyday actions to stay healthy:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you get sick. Stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Develop a family emergency plan as a precaution. This should include storing a supply of food, medicines, facemasks, alcohol-based hand rubs and other essential supplies.

We all need to stay safe and more importantly, healthy.