Is It Safe To Click The Unsubscribe Button On Spam Email?
We're constantly getting questions from our customers from Integral asking if it's okay to unsubscribe from spam email. I think we can all agree spam emails can be a nuisance in best-case scenarios and a cybersecurity risk in the worst-case scenario. Why wouldn't you want to click on 'unsubscribe' whenever an unwanted email appears in your inbox? It seems like the logical way for you to stop the barrage of emails appearing in your inbox. As tempting as it is, you need to think twice before doing so. Here’s what you need to do to stop getting emails you don’t want and make sure you stay safe from criminals who want your personal information.
It is estimated that over 48 percent of all email messages that appear in inboxes are spam. Many of these spam messages are more annoying than dangerous, but as cybercrime grows, it pays to show a little caution. When it comes to unsubscribing from email marketing messages from legitimate sources (this would include stores and people you've done business with), you can do so without worrying that your actions are going to cause harm to your devices or alert cyber crooks to your email. It is completely safe and a good way to clear your inbox.
There is a flip side to unsubscribing. Cybercrooks know your first reaction to spam is to hit “unsubscribe.” It's estimated spam emails are the most common way to infect your home or office devices with ransomware. This is when it comes to emails that appear in your inbox from sources you're unfamiliar with, you need to just delete those messages rather than clicking unsubscribe. In many instances, crooks will send out email messages with links that will take you to unsafe websites or install malware on your devices. One of the other problems you need to beware of when clicking unsubscribe is criminals will know your email is an active address and this could lead to crooks sending more spam to your inbox.
Sometimes it's hard to know what spam messages are from legitimate sources or from criminals which is why it's best to just delete those unwanted messages that appear in your inbox rather than subscribing. Yes, I know you want to get rid of those messages forever, but you should take these steps instead:
Stop Sharing Your Email Address. One of the best ways to stop spam is to stop giving out your email. Only share your email with family and close friends. Even if you think a website is safe and secure, there's always a risk your email could be leaked in a large-scale data breach.
Use Multiple Email Addresses
Another way you can stay safe and spam-free is by creating multiple email accounts. Use one email address for communicating with close friends and family and another for signing up for online services. When you practice this method, spam will go to the inbox you don’t use to communicate with people, making it less of a concern. Having multiple accounts will also minimize risks from credential stuffing if some of your information leaks in a data breach.
Delete and Block Spam messages. You can also report emails as spam or junk. Doing so will help your email provider automatically block messages from these senders so you don’t have to keep deleting them. If they still come in, you can manually block the sender’s address.
Stop Using Free Email Services. Using free email services puts you a greater risk for spam as these free accounts are large targets to criminals. Crooks know these free email accounts have millions of subscribers and they constantly bombard these free accounts with spam. Especially if you have a business, purchase a domain (firstname.lastname@example.org) from GoDaddy to use. Criminals know many domains only have a few users so they normally don't target them with spam.
Hopefully, this post has given you the information you need to reduce spam. Spam is a pain in the you-know-what and can be dangerous, but there are safe ways to deal with it. Next time you get a spam message in your inbox, follow these steps instead of clicking “unsubscribe.”If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!
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