Computer users should always think twice before opening an email attachment or clicking on a link in an email, even if the email appears to come from a reputable source.

Karin Thomas-Martin from the consumer advice centre in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said users should be cautious even if the email looks real or they are eager to open it. “It’s not that big of a rush that you have to click on it right away.” One of the latest scams has been emails, which purport to be airline tickets. Opening them can open the door for a virus attack.

Email users should always check with partners and family members to see whether a ticket was booked. If it wasn’t, they should simply delete the email.

Thomas-Martin also suggests looking up the email’s subject line or topic in a search engine.

“Usually you can find forums, in which such things are discussed.” Another option is to check out the website of the company that purportedly sent the email. There you may find warnings about virus or phishing emails.

The most important step that computer users can take to protect themselves is to have an up-to-date virus scanner and the most recent operating system installed.