Do you ever feel like your inbox has been overtaken by spam or pesky emails?
We’ve all been there – emails from companies bombarding us with deals and savings that we don’t need, and certainly didn’t ask for. How did these companies even get your email address? While spam email may be annoying, clicking unsubscribe from the emails could lead to even greater danger.
Here’s why you should be careful when unsubscribing from emails – especially if they appear to be spam emails, and how to stop those unwanted emails from clogging your inbox.
Should I click “unsubscribe” from junk email in my inbox?
If you ever click an “unsubscribe” button or link in your email, you could be putting yourself at risk for two different potential threats.
The “unsubscribe” malware scam
Some hackers are using emails that are either extremely vague or look like a real email you may receive from a company you’re not interested in. The email may ask if you’d want to “unsubscribe” from future emails, or they may offer you a link to cancel a subscription.
Clicking these links could actually confirm that you’ve received the email to lead you straight to a spammer, who may have access to install malware onto your device now that you’ve clicked their link.
How to protect yourself
Scammers are always trying to disguise links so you need to always have a wall of defense that is always on. We’ve said this before and we’ll keep saying it: installing Antivirus software across your devices will identify malware and prevent you from ever clicking and installing a malicious link in the first place. We’ve broken down the top antivirus programs for 2022 and our top antivirus pick is Total AV, which offers a Total Security package that has real-time monitoring and will keep your devices virus-free.
Never click a link from an email address you don’t know.
You could be adding yourself onto yet another email spam list!
When you go through the effort of unsubscribing from a marketing email, you’ve just confirmed to the sender that your account is active. This could lead to companies selling your email address knowing there’s a higher chance you’ll open the emails you receive.
What should I do instead of “unsubscribing” from junk mail?
Smart Tip: Mark undesirable email as junk
While you could simply delete all of the spam email, marking it as junk will automatically move the email out of your inbox. You’ll also be offered an option to block the sender of your junk emails, which you’ll want to do if you see any sketchy links in the body of the email.
How can I quickly and easily unsubscribe at once from some of the legitimate emails I get?
Unroll your emails
While we’re speaking of unsubscribing, if you don’t want to unsubscribe from every single legitimate email you’re receiving, or you still occasionally want some of those online coupons but don’t want your inbox clogged, we have a solution that will make it easy to do so.
Unroll.me makes it simple to declutter your inbox by unsubscribing to emails for you, keep the ones you do want, and group together all the other ones that maybe you don’t want to see every day, but still want access to. You can get one daily digest from all of your favorite brands and companies instead of individual ones from each of them.
You log in to your email on the site, and it pulls up all of the different companies sending you constant emails. Then go through them one by one, and mark what you’d like to do.
How do I prevent getting spam in the first place?
With an email alias, you’ll be able to still access the email you created for a specific purpose AND keep it separate from your inbox. With our #1 private and secure mail provider StartMail, you can create unlimited alias email addresses (you can even use a fake name), and separate them all.
Why use an alias email address?
The most useful reason to use alias email addresses is for all of the websites you’re required to input your personal information on these days. If you’re looking for a promo code, or you have to sign up to use a website for some one-off reason, you really don’t want to give them your real name and email address. You’re signing yourself up for their constant flow of emails, and they may end up selling your information so you’ll end up with even more emails from people you don’t know.
You can also use different alias emails for people you have different relationships with:
- Create one for all of your family members to reach out to,
- Create one for work colleagues or job applications
- or if you’re helping take care of someone in your family, you can create one to handle all of their correspondences in one place.
- Or make an email address to handle all of your banking and financial logins and correspondences – that way you can easily identify a phishing attempt if someone tries using any email other than your alias.
If you start getting spam from this email address, you can assume that the company you signed up for either sold your email address to another source or that company got hacked. Regardless, you can delete that alias and never get any additional spam.
How to create an alias email address
First, you’ll want to sign up for StartMail. Exclusive deal for CyberGuy readers: 60% off: $23.98 for first year ($2 per month, billed annually). Includes a free 7-day trial.