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With the 2012 Summer Olympic Games fast approaching, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a report on May 22 warning users about potential spam and spyware attacks that could infect notebooks and laptops around the world.

According to the report, which was compiled by the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), "China was subjected to approximately 12 million online attacks per day during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing," and two months later, hackers were already launching campaigns "using 2012 London Summer Olympic themes."

While banks and other establishments have bulked up their cybersecurity in preparation for such attacks, the NCCIC warned that large scale scams as well as malware, spyware and spam campaigns targeting consumers may be in the works.

The report states that one group of hackers made $3.5 million selling fake tickets online during the 2008 Olympics. The NCCIC has already discovered an email campaign that encourages users to enter a competition to win tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies. In order to enter, readers have to provide their personal and financial information.

Other methods that have been used by scammers include creating fake Olympic-themed websites, screensavers, images and videos that have been laced with malicious code.

And now, with the development of new Olympic apps by NBC and Samsung, hackers may produce their own encrypted apps to take advantage of the trend and collect data from smartphones and tablets everywhere.

But all hope is not lost - you can protect your new Apple, Toshiba or Samsung laptop by simply using common sense when opening emails and arming your new device with the best antivirus software available. If you're eagerly awaiting the Summer Olympics but want to make sure your files stay safe, consult an experienced computer retailer at PortableOne.

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