Tech Talk: Should You Unsubscribe from Unwanted Emails?

spam email

By Jarren Ringle

How many “spam” emails do you get each day?  Does it seem like you are getting more than you used to get?  Do you wonder what you can do to stop them?  Do you wonder why you got them?

Spam (junk) emails try to get you to do a couple of things.  They may want you to click a web link or try to buy something.  Chances are if you click the web link you will be taken to a malicious website.  Any number of things can happen after that and none of them are good. 

Or they may try to get you to purchase something by providing your credit card information and related credentials.  That will probably have an outcome you won’t like.

But spam (junk) email often has another option.  One that you might think would help stop the flow of spam but may make it worse.

You scroll down the email and at the very bottom (in very small type) you see the word “unsubscribe.”  You assume that clicking that word will remove your email address and you won’t receive the email again.  The truth is if you unsubscribe to something you never subscribed to you may only be making matters worse.

Many email addresses are “dead” or not active email addresses and have no value.  When you unsubscribe from something you never subscribed to you may be telling the sender that you are a real person with an active email address.  That your email is read by a real person and that you may respond to emails.  That sender will then sell your email address to others who want to send you spam.  They won’t get a lot of money for your email info but added to the others they have, it can amount to a tidy sum.

You should never unsubscribe to something you never subscribed to.  You can delete the spam email or mark it as spam (junk).  The best thing to do is when you don’t recognize the sender (or subject) just delete the email without even opening it. 

Your email app may mark suspicious emails as spam (junk) and you can look there to clear unwanted emails.  Yes… I know you want some simple, no work needed, solution but there isn’t one.  You will need to be engaged in the process or your inbox will be filled and your patience will be drained.

Jarren Ringle is a member of SourcePoint and a volunteer instructor. SourcePointers come to Jarren for tutelage on their tablets, laptops, and the most popular of all devices – cell phones. He teaches various technology classes throughout the year including one-on-one sessions and group classes. Jarren also volunteers at the Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. With many years of project management experience in various technology fields, he enjoys helping others with technology.

Posted in ,
Scroll to Top