This week Paul Rutherford, chief marketing officer of Clearswift, advises extra vigilance in the run up to 14 February.
If past experience is anything to go by there is a strong likelihood for a surge in spam in the run up to and during Valentine's Day.
In addition to email marketing campaigns by vendors of flowers, chocolates and Viagra, many more spammers are likely to socially engineer spam and malware in order to take advantage of unsuspecting lonely hearts.
Valentine's Day leaves many people particularly vulnerable to socially engineered attacks.
This is a tactic commonly used by virus writers, spammers and hackers, which relies on human interaction and involves tricking people into breaking security procedures, often taking advantage of the natural helpfulness of people as well as their weaknesses.
Viruses such as 'Kornikova' and 'I Love You' are classic examples of how the perpetration of viruses can be dramatically increased by exploiting common weaknesses.
Before thinking about the content of the email, recipients opened it only to discover that it contained a malicious payload. This then used the computer to email everyone in the address book and spread further.
Socially engineered Valentine's spam could waste time and disrupt IT infrastructures. So think twice before opening email from strangers.
The situation is made worse by the fact that Valentine's Day greetings are, by their nature, anonymous. Users are unlikely to take the 'only open email from a trusted source' approach as they may miss out on a love letter.
Furthermore, there is a tendency for individuals to forward large amounts of e-cards, screensavers and jokes on Valentine's Day. This encourages email users to be lax, and these attachments can cause network congestion and may contain malicious code.
On top of using email filtering tools to pick up malicious code at the gateway and prevent viruses entering the network, organisations should ensure that their IT departments take proactive steps to combat the growing problem of spam.
According to analyst Gartner, 34 per cent of email handled by companies is spam and levels are rising continuously. This not only drains productivity, but causes network congestion and has been known to corrupt files and disable computers.
The potential cost of just one pornographic spam email finding its way to a sensitive employee, or being forwarded from within an organisation to a customer or partner, can be staggering. Litigation cases involving sexual harassment charges can reach six or seven figures.
The following five-point checklist provides IT departments with a quick and easy guide to preventing spam:
Blacklist services hold information about currently reported spam servers and known offenders.
IT managers should block servers and IP addresses that have previously sent spam.
FIND OUT IF THE SENDER IS REAL
Verify that emails are sent from valid domains.
Verify that the sender is able to receive real email as spammers do not wish to receive returned mail.
LEARN THE STYLE OF MESSAGES
Reject messages with large numbers of recipients in the 'to' field as they are likely to be spam.
Use content analysis to filter out emails containing typical spam topics such as dieting advice or loan offers and incorporate predefined spam expression lists into content analysis engines.
Deploy content analysis across a wide variety of languages as spammers exist across the globe.
Check with www.spamhaus.org to keep up to date on the latest spamming tactics.
PREVENT YOUR SITE BEING USED TO SPAM
Protect yourself from spammers who bounce their emails around other organisations' servers in order to conceal their identity.
PREVENT MALICIOUS SPAM
Protect yourself from email flooding designed to overload and crash the server.
With a sound preventative policy in place, organisations can ensure that they protect themselves and their employees from the ever-increasing threat of viruses and spam.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago