How to Safely Unsubscribe From Spam Emails
Think twice before clicking that 'unsubscribe' link! Learn how to safely deal with unwanted spam emails with our guide (and tools).
The modern email inbox can be a frightening place. It's not unlike the nine-headed Hydra monster of Greek mythology. When the hero chops off one ghastly head, two more grow in its place!
It seems as soon as you delete one spam email, two new spam emails appear!
While it's tempting to smash that "unsubscribe" button to try and temper the neverending onslaught, you need to be aware of the risks of opening spam emails.
Keep reading for ways to safely deal with unwanted emails.
Dangers of Unsubscribing From Spam Emails
Before opening that sketchy email in search of the unsubscribe link, please know this: Some spam emails are sent by hackers and cybercriminals that can trigger more spam emails after you unsubscribe. Worse yet, even just opening those emails can infect your computer with malware, ransomware, and other types of cyber attacks.
We'll cover when you are safe to click "unsubscribe" and when you should delete the email without opening it.
When to Use the Unsubscribe Button
If the marketing email is from a legitimate company, you should be safe to use the unsubscribe button.
How to know if an email is legitimate:
- Have you heard of the company?
- Do you remember signing up for the mailing list?
- Does it look like a typical advertisement?
Last, make sure the "unsubscribe" link takes you to a website associated with the sender. A legitimate company will honor your wish to unsubscribe and not make it difficult for you.
When to Just Delete the Email
Trust your instincts. If the email is from a suspicious-looking company or person, do not open the email or click unsubscribe. Just delete it.
If the email sender is a cyber attacker, the unsubscribe link could redirect you to a website designed to infect your computer.
In other cases, pushing the unsubscribe button signals to the cybercriminals that you, the email recipient, are a real person opening the emails. This is valuable knowledge and means they can sell your email address to other spammers as "validated data."
Finally, some questionable companies don't offer an unsubscribe option. In that situation, we recommend deleting and blocking the emails. That's probably not a company you would want to do business with anyway.
Some services like Trimbox give you the option to automatically block or delete spam messages.
When in Doubt, Do Not Open Spam Emails
Better safe than sorry. If you're unsure if an email is legit, then the best policy is not to open it. Sophisticated cybercriminals have gotten very good at posing as actual companies including PayPal, Amazon, and even job listings.
We recommend not clicking any links or opening any attachments. Cybercriminals use PDFs, documents, and other attachments to deliver Trojan viruses to infect your computer and steal your data.
If you believe an email is from hackers posing as an honest company, you can contact the legitimate company's customer service line and report fraud.
Use Trimbox to Mass Unsubscribe
While the constant barrage of spam emails can be grating, please take safety precautions when you unsubscribe.
To recap, only click the "unsubscribe" link when the email is from a legitimate company you recognize. Otherwise, your best bet is to delete sketchy emails without opening them.
Better yet, use a reputable company to mass unsubscribe and block/delete spam.
With Trimbox, you can safely unsubscribe from hundreds of emails at once. Make an account on Trimbox today. You'll be glad you did!