Humans may accidentally spam aliens or send them dangerous computer viruses if we try to contact them, experts at Oxford University have warned.
A working group of academics, astronomers and philosophers is currently trying to come up with a universal message to send out in the hope of reaching extraterrestrial life.
In September, the UK research network for SETI (the search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) voted in favour of trying to reach out to alien life forms. But they are still undecided what exactly to send and are worried that they could inadvertently send viruses into space which could infect the technology of other civilisations.
Speaking at the British Science Festival Dr Anders Sandberg, of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, said humans must be extremely cautious about what digital messages they send into space.