The Dangers of Clicking Unsubscribe Links in Your Emails

Everyone receives emails they don’t want, and it can be tempting to click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom, but beware! This is a simple and easy way to prevent future emails from that sender, right? While that may be true, this simple action can actually cause more problems than it solves, especially if you don’t know or trust the sender—or have never subscribed to their emails. Its also an easy way for email senders to disguise their identity and location, making an effective email method of a phishing attack. Here are four dangers of unsubscribing from emails right away:

Unsubscribing Confirms your Email Address

After opening that email and clicking “unsubscribe,” spammers may actually send you more email instead of removing you from their list. They may sell your email address to other spammers if they’re especially ruthless.

Clicking Confirms You’ve Read the Email

Clicking that “unsubscribe” button also tells the sender that you may be interested in the subject matter, as you read through the email and clicked an internal button. This information allows spammers to narrow the focus of the future email, making it more likely that you’ll open and read them.

Unsubscribing Sends Information About Your Computer

Some senders require an email from you as part of the unsubscribing process. This step may involve sending them an email directly with a particular phrase such as “remove” or “unsubscribe” in the subject field. Clicking the unsubscribe link may also open an email window. Either way, sending an email provides the recipient with your email header, which contains information about your email software and computer. This information can be highly useful for anyone who wants to access your computer.

A subscription request may also open a browser window, which additionally provides the spammer with information about you. This information includes your browser, operating system, and IP address, which spammers can then use to determine your approximate geographic location. They can also send your computer a “cookie” that will identify you if you visit any of their other websites.

Visiting Unknown Websites Exposes you to Malware

Accessing a website as part of the unsubscribing process provides a spammer with an opportunity to install malware on your computer. Malware is designed to gain access to and corrupt your computer. A type of malware known as a drive-by download can be installed, even if you don’t click anything on the website! Spammers can tailor this malware to increase its effectiveness against your cybersecurity, based on the information you’ve already provided.

Keep Your Email Safe

The best strategy for dealing with unwanted email is to simply remove it from your inbox and block the sender’s email address. The specific procedure for accomplishing these tasks depends on your email software. For certain software, marking a message as spam automatically moves the message to a trash folder and blocks the sender. In other cases, you may need to manually move the message and add the sender’s email address to your block list. Some email software platforms continue to learn more about what’s considered spam when you mark a message as such, which helps to protect your computer in the future.

When it comes to computer security, safety, cloud services, Wi-Fi, and more, look no further than Integrated Axis technology Group for the best technology services Tucson has to offer. Contact us here or call us at (520) 877-3033 to learn more about our IT services.