Why Unsubscribing from Spam Emails Is Not Your Safest Bet

My inbox is drowning in piles and piles of emails. It feels like being stuck in a maze. How do I get rid of all these? Unsubscribe me. Unsubscribe me, PLEASE!

Ever felt the agony of having a cluttered inbox? I bet you did, and you’re not the only one.

But here’s the thing: rushing to click the ‘Unsubscribe’ button is not the right way to make sure all those unwanted emails don’t come back ever again. As counterintuitive as it sounds, unsubscribing will make you receive even more spam in some situations.

So, sit tight, as I’ll explain to you why that happens and how you can protect yourself from spammers that get on your nerves.

Defining spam emails

First of all, let’s define spam emails.

Many believe email marketing messages are the same thing as spam, which is not the case. These senders have received your permission to be in your inbox. You either subscribed or accepted to receive newsletters or notifications.

Spam accounts for 14.5 billion messages globally per day. That makes up 45% of all emails.

And while remembering every service you subscribe to might be difficult, the best advice is to start keeping track

of them. You could save a list of all your subscription or build it by searching your inbox for messages along the lines of “You have successfully subscribed to (…)”.

The rest of it is spam, meaning they’re emails sent to a large number of recipients who did not consent to be added to a database.

Through web scraping, spammers got your email address along with dozens of other ones. Once in a while, they just click a button and make sure all those addresses receive the same message.

Unsubscribing from spam has a boomerang effect

Most spammers have no idea if your email address is a valid one. They’re just sending emails and hoping someone will fall for them.

But when you hit that seemingly legit unsubscribe button, they get confirmation your email address is active. And they proceed to bombard it with even more messages every day.

A gloomier possibility is that the unsubscribe link is corrupt. By clicking it, you download malware, ransomware, or other viruses onto your device.

Some spammers create custom addresses or use popular URLs with a typo in them to trick the receiver. Don’t click them. And dare I say, fight any temptation of replying to spam emails to make fun of or get into arguments.

Your safest bet is to delete the messages. Leave the rest to people like comedian James Veitch.

The best way to manage spam

If you want to unsubscribe from an email newsletter you’re sure you signed up for, it’s okay to click the unsubscribe link. Or reply to the most recent message and mention you don’t wish to receive them anymore.

For any spam email, mark it as ‘spam’ or ‘junk’ and delete it without opening it. In most cases, spammers can tell if an email was opened, leading to even more of them coming your way.

Plus, by moving emails to spam, you help your email provider identify them and better deal with them in the future.

Be on the lookout for spam and digital frauds

Spam is big business, but it’s also dangerous for your digital life. The same goes for other digital scams.

So, make sure you know how to identify and stay safe from threats like online dating scams, charity scams, and phishing emails. Plus, in order to protect yourself, make sure you go online protected by a trustworthy VPN.

 

What about you? How many spam emails do you get, and how do you usually deal with them?

Let me know in the comments below.

       
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