Caution! “Unsubscribe” Buttons in Emails May Carry Risks

In your work, you may need a huge amount of industry data to keep your finger on the pulse of change for your profession. Some platforms usually require you to register or provide your email address if you want to get a “free” copy of some reports, for example. As a result, you find yourself bombarded with endless emails every day, even from more organizations than you have registered with.

How obnoxious! You are vexed with so many unsolicited emails, then you notice a few messages include an unsubscribe link. You are almost there to click “unsubscribe.” But, think twice before you take action.

Does an unsubscribe link always work?

In 2003, President George W. Bush signed a law called the CAN-SPAM Act. It sets the rules for commercial emails and gives recipients the right to have senders stop emailing them. Specifically, it requires that “a visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism is present in all emails.”

The good news is clicking unsubscribe usually works – if the sender is a legit organization. However…

What if the sender is a shady one?

Legitimate companies will usually honor your requests for unsubscribing. But for some shady ones, the result is far from your wish: the spammers will not remove your email address from their email lists. What will happen can be:

By clicking the “unsubscribe” link, you tell the spammers that your email address is live. They will sell the valid and active address to others and “use it for future campaigns”. As a result, you actually increase the amount of spams you receive.

Even worse, the “unsubscribe” link may take you to a malicious site. The site will download malware onto your computer, which can compromise your system, or it will trick you into a scam, which can steal your sensitive data and even your money.

What should you do, then?

Just remember, if an email looks like a truly shady spam, do not click any links and never open any attachments. However, some scammers can act as legit organizations. They would use email address which highly resemble the real, authoritative one.

That’s why you need help from experts. Mr. Post, an add-in for your Outlook, would be your first choice. Mr. Post will visualize the email route, unveil the real sender and inspect links in your emails. If there is any risk, Mr. Post will warn you.

Install Mr. Post for free, and you can “unsubscribe” at more ease. Available now on Microsoft AppSource.

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2019-08-09T17:59:24+08:00August 8th, 2019|Insight|