The quantity of unsolicited e-mail messages being sent worldwide has fallen dramatically over the Christmas period.
Internet security company Symantec said the rate of junk e-mails had dropped from 230 billion per day six months ago, to about 30 billion over the Christmas period.
It says the groups which send the messages realise very few people will be checking their email at Christmas.
A security manager at Symantec, Rob Pregnell, says another reason for the drop is that those sending the messages will also be on holiday.
Mr Pregnell says the levels of unsolicited messages are likely to climb again over the next two weeks.