SYDNEY, NSW: Internet security specialists AVG has today urged caution for online election addicts when using the net to follow the campaign. Although the 2010 Election has thus far been one of the more bland campaigns, it has been the most e-covered e-lection, with Channel Nine, for example, incorporating Twitter into its Debate broadcast.

“Cyber criminals capitalise on the need for us to find the latest news and we often click through without thinking,” said AVG “security evangelist” Lloyd Borrett.

“Scammers are capable of doing more than just offering you a new rich friend from Nigeria. They are clever, targeted and current, and they are after your money or your identity.

“They use Google Trends and similar tools to poison the search results related to a topic. During the earthquake which devastated China in April 2010, the search engine optimisation methods used by the bad guys were so effective that 18 of the top 20 searches were malicious. Thus they were able to fraudulently siphon donations meant for disaster relief.”

Borrett has four key tips for surfers following the election: make sure you practice “safe surfing”, stop and think before downloading anything, make sure your security software is up to date, and practice caution when installing applications.