Like most everyone else, you probably receive SPAM and phishing emails all the time.
If you ever happen to accidentally open one of these obnoxious messages you might be tempted to click the “Unsubscribe” link located near the bottom of the message to have your email address removed from their mailing list.
Whatever you do, don’t click that link! This post explains why.
Why you should avoid clicking “Unsubscribe” in SPAM messages
Clicking “Unsubscribe” in a fraudulent email will not result in your email address being removed from the scammer’s email list. What it WILL do is one, or both of the following:
1 – Verify for the scammer that your email address is in fact a valid and active address (which will have the unwanted side effect of making your email address even more valuable to the scammer in the future).
2 – Take you to a malicious website that will download malware onto your computer and/or trick you into falling for a scam offer of some sort.
I know how irritating it is to check your email and find dozens of SPAM messages filling up your inbox, but clicking “Unsubscribe” won’t help you avoid it in the future. All it will do is end up attracting even more malicious junk in the future, and possibly worse.
How to properly handle your junk emails
The best way to handle SPAM and other forms of unwanted email is to simply mark them as “SPAM” or “Junk” (depending on which word your email provider uses) and then delete them without even opening them.
Of course there will be times when you open one of these emails by accident, regardless of how careful you are to avoid them. When that happens, simply mark the message as SPAM or Junk and then delete it.
Whatever you do, DO NOT click on the “Unsubscribe” link (or ANY link in the email for that matter).
What to do if you accidentally click a link in a SPAM message
If you accidentally click ANY link in a SPAM message you should first deal with the email as explained above, then thoroughly scan your computer for malware.
You didn’t “subscribe” to all those junk emails in the first place, so trying to “unsubscribe” from them is a waste of your time. No, I take that back. It’s actually worse than a waste of time – it’s downright dangerous!