The next 6 days up to New Year is the optimum time for online malice and mischief.

John Safa, anti-hacking expert and chief architect at DriveSentry a firewall company, is warning that virus or worm attacks, hacking and phishing incidences will peak significantly over the next 6 days.

Safa believes that, with many people receiving MP3 players, digital cameras and computer accessories for Christmas, consumers and especially those new to technology will be easy prey to the internet’s more malicious elements.

Between Christmas 2005 and the New Year, 20 million music tracks were downloaded in the US and over one million in the UK according to Gfk.

Yet before you panic, Safa believes, however, that the vast majority of issues during this time will be caused by ignorance, naivety or opportunism from new users, rather than a targeted attack on you and your PC.