One of the most annoying things about email is receiving a lot of them, and by a lot, we really mean a lot. Whether it be your work or personal email, for those who use them regularly, it’s no surprise to see hundreds of new emails almost every day. We may even wonder how did these guys know my email address? 

Emails promoting a product, from an app you subscribed to, social networking sites, business proposals, and many more cloud our email inbox. Honestly, sometimes it’s difficult to know which ones are important because there’s too many of them! We may have even missed important emails because of the many others we receive.

That’s why email providers have what we call a spam folder where it puts suspicious and spam emails. Thankfully, email providers have spam detection protocols that are smart enough to help us filter our emails, but sometimes, it is not enough. So, what we do is we manually unsubscribe to those senders to totally stop receiving emails from them.

However, cyber thieves and phishers know this and use some unsubscribe button to bait us into giving information and leading us to their malicious website which may contain malware. Before, spammers use the unsubscribe button to validate that they are sending to an active email address and then sell your email to other spammers, but today, they can use it for more sophisticated cyber-attacks. We may think that we are just unsubscribing to an annoying email, but we may be giving cyber criminals enough room to attack you or the company you work for.

As much as we want to just unsubscribe to these annoying senders, we have to exercise caution when doing so. Here are a few reminders that can save you from ‘unsubscribe scams’.

Never click the unsubscribe button. Though there are legit unsubscribe buttons there like a weekly newsletter of a certain news website you regularly tune in to, there are lots of suspicious ones, maybe from a cyber attacker waiting for you to click so he can deploy a virus or ransomware into your personal or company system. It’s better to leave them be. Whether it’s legit or not, the safest thing to do is not to click them.

Tag it as spam. Utilize your email’s built-in spam feature. You can tag a specific email address as spam so all emails coming from them will automatically go to your spam folder. Just be careful who you tag as spam because you may miss important emails. You do not want to tag as spam an important client or business partner. Check the email first or better yet, you can contact your client or business partner if they are the one sending you that email.

Update everything. If you open your email in an app, make sure to update that app or browser. Most of the updates they receive include security patches from your email provider and improvement in their spam detection.

Unsubscribe scammers want you to click the unsubscribe button. As tempting as it could be, do not give them what they want.