Blog

Rahul Thadani
5 Reasons Why You Should Not Unsubscribe from Spam Emails
September 19, 2014

Do you receive a lot of unwanted and advertisement-filled emails in your inbox on a regular basis? If so, then you are certainly not alone as there are several people who receive plenty of such emails on a daily basis. Hackers and attackers usually receive email addresses in bulk from their sources or even send out emails to randomly worded email addresses, in the hope that some of the addresses will be correct and some recipients would respond.

unsubscribe_now

Most of these spam emails appear fake to people who are aware about the security risks. Recipients who have this knowledge, and especially the ones who cannot distinguish between a fake email and a real one, often click on the innocuous looking ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’ button somewhere in this email. While they feel they are taking a step to prevent such emails from coming through in the future, this is actually a highly unadvisable move, and here we will tell you why you should not unsubscribe from spam emails.

Reason # 1- You confirm that your email address is valid

When the attackers send out spam emails to millions of people they are not sure about how many accounts are valid and actively used. By clicking on a button within the email, you confirm to the attacker that your email address is correct and it is actively being used by someone. As a result, your email address receives a promotion into their list of valid and active email addresses to target.

Reason # 2- You confirm that the subject matter interests you

When you click a button within the email, you confirm to the attacker that you opened the email for some reason. In most cases, this shows that the subject matter is of some interest to you. It could be something about a free iPad or a free lottery win or anything else. But this shows the attacker that he can now target you with that particular topic if he tries harder.

Reason # 3- You reveal information about your email software

Sometimes, clicking on UNSUBSCRIBE may open up an email window. In addition to proving that your email address is active, sending such a mail will show what email software you use as well. Whether you are using Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Mail or some other email software, this information will be received by the attacker and he can use this against you.

Reason # 4- You are taken to a new browser window

The UNSUBSCRIBE link may be deliberately placed within the email so that whoever clicks on it is taken to a new window and a new webpage. This is highly risky as the attacker can then get your IP address and geographical location. The sites can even have further information that may trick you. More dangerously, some sites have what are known as ‘Drive-by Downloads’. These are malicious downloads that start as soon as the site is visited.

Reason # 5- You initiate a download on your PC

Some hackers may even anticipate that people may want to click on the UNSUBSCRIBE button. As a result, they will themselves place a prominent UNSUBSCRIBE sign in their email and manipulate people into clicking on that. We never know what will happen after clicking on such a button. The functionality of the link can be completely different from what the text says. So this could potentially play right into the attacker’s hands and this could take you to a malicious website, initiate a malicious download and also show that your email account is active.

unsubscribed_email

What you should do:

So in such cases, what exactly needs to be done in order to avoid this potentially dangerous situation? Here are some useful tips that will help.

Tip # 1- Report as spam

If you have opened a spam email, there will be an option to report the mail as spam. This will immediately delete the email from your inbox. Moreover, it will allow your email provider to recognize which emails you deem as spam, and it will directly send similar emails to the spam folder in the future.

Tip # 2- Delete the email

You can also choose to delete the email directly from your inbox, without actually opening the email. All email clients have a simple method to do this and you will simply need to check a box in front of the spam email, and click on Delete.

Tip # 3- Make use of our Email Security feature

Quick Heal products have an in-built Email Security feature that prevents spam emails and malicious emails from reaching your inbox. Make use of this feature to stay safe against risky emails.

Useful resources:

How you can stop strangers from emailing you on Gmail

Got an email attachment? Pause, think and inquire

How to recognize and dodge email scams

Gmail security checklist: 5 great Gmail security tips and tricks

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Rahul Thadani
About Rahul Thadani
Rahul is a web enthusiast and blogger, and has been writing about the computer security industry for the last three years. Following the latest technology trends,...
Articles by Rahul Thadani »

61 Comments

Your email address will not be published.

CAPTCHA Image

  1. Ragit AgrawalSeptember 19, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Hello,

    How can I protect my E-mail Id if I have already clicked on Unsubscribe button and I was taken to a new window.

    Please do reply

    Thanking You

    Reply
    • Hi Ragit,

      In this situation, if there was a drive-by download on your machine, then you should run a full-system scan in order to ensure your PC is safe and secure. However, since you have already clicked on this in the past, there is nothing you can do now. In the future, you can follow the precautionary steps as mentioned in the blog post, whenever you receive some spam emails.

      Regards.

      Reply
  2. good

    Reply
  3. Prof. C. B. SinghSeptember 19, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    Thank you Rahul Thadani. Now I have started realizing that computers have changed since the year 1984, when I got access to DOS based PC. These activities are good examples of destructive spoiled brains (=the pseudo brains, who failed to achieve their goals). May God help them to come on right track.

    Reply
  4. there should be forward button so i can send this news to the person who dont use quick heal.like forward by whatsup or by mail.

    Reply
    • Hi Anil,

      Thanks for the suggestion. At the top of the post, there are options to share this post via Facebook, Twitter and even via email. The small envelope button achieves this functionality.

      Regards.

      Reply
  5. Very good & helping information thanks a lot.

    Reply
  6. sooryanarayananSeptember 19, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    I have installed Quick Heal pro and Quick heal PC tuner…Please tell me whether

    I am safe…

    Thank u

    Reply
  7. Very Useful

    Reply
  8. Ravi PrajapatiSeptember 19, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    The quickheal Total Security Is Best Anti Virus Software…

    Reply
  9. Animesh BaruaSeptember 20, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    Thanks a lot for such a helpful suggestion.

    Reply
  10. Good for mobile

    Reply
  11. Karan MalhotraSeptember 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    HI , MY QUICK HEAL VERSION HAS EXPIRED BUT IT IS SCANNING SUCCESSFULLY; IS MY PC SAFE

    Reply
    • Hi Karan,

      Since your Quick Heal version has expired, it is not getting updated with the latest updates and malware signature and virus databases. This means that if a new virus has arrived after your license expired, Quick Heal will be unable to detect and remove it. The software will still scan your system for viruses that were present till the expiry date though. We strongly recommend that you consider updating your Quick Heal product soon.

      Regards.

      Reply
  12. dR aNIL cHAUHANSeptember 20, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    I am using Quick heat Total security since many yrs, still getting lots of dangerous spam mails daily. I am already doing 5 steps U have mentioned at above discussion.
    Should I change any setting of My computer OR Quick heal ?

    Reply
    • Hi,

      You can check if the Email Security feature in your Quick Heal is activated. However, there will always be some spam emails that creep in regularly as malware authors always find ways around security protocols. As long as you keep reporting the emails that do come in as SPAM, your inbox will keep recognizing your actions and the emails you do not wish to see. Also, never click on any of the links within such emails as that may lead to other security risks.

      Regards.

      Reply
  13. I’m also instal Quick Heal total security but my computer slow and my PC automatically Shut down pleas help,Rahul………

    Reply
    • Hi Subhajit,

      If possible, can you run a full-system scan of your PC via your Quick Heal dashboard? If this is not working, then you will need to contact our support center on 0-927-22-33-000. Alternately, you can also submit a ticket by visiting this link – http://www.quickheal.co.in/submitticket. Our support team will then contact you and provide you with technical assistance in order to resolve this issue.

      Best regards.

      Reply
  14. sir i gardun antivairus 2014 use kar raha hon so
    plese tell antivirous not update what is problem

    Reply
  15. Asoke Kumar BandyopadhyaySeptember 20, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    It is very useful for all. Please let me know how I shall protect my Computer from Spam or Spurious Mail in my mail box. I deleted the mail from unknown and unreliable source directly from my box. But in this case I may loose some vital mails which may be useful for me. Please confirm.

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Deleting the mails directly from the inbox is definitely one of the best precautionary measures you can take. The likelihood of you losing vital mails is low as you can see the subject line and the text of the mail. This is usually a good indicator about the nature and content of the mails. If you are still unsure, then you can open the mails and report those mails as spam which are clearly in this category. This will help as over time, your inbox will start sending similar mails straight to the spam folder.

      Regards.

      Reply
  16. KIRANLNTECC@GMAIL.COMSeptember 20, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    THANKS A LOT!! VERY VERY USEFUL INFORMATION..!!!!!!!

    Reply
  17. This is the Best aqqs of mobile sc…..

    Reply
  18. Best

    Reply
  19. Hi rahul,
    This info is really helpful,will keep in mind the next tym i get a spam mail

    Reply
  20. good

    Reply
  21. RAJEEV CHAWLASeptember 21, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    please tell how to stop receiving mails from a particular sender,as unsubscribing has not helped either.

    Regs.

    Reply
    • Hi Rajeev,

      As mentioned in the post, unsubscribing from spam mails can lead to attackers knowing your email address is valid and active. Hence they can target your address with more mails in the future. It is better to simply delete such emails or report them as spam. This is a more effective technique.

      Regards.

      Reply
  22. Amandeep SinghSeptember 21, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Thanks for the Nice Info

    Reply
  23. Nice entivrush

    Reply
  24. Brig A L Sandhal (Retd)September 21, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Dear Mr Rahul,

    Thanks , very useful tips.
    Rgards

    Reply
  25. Ravindra Srinivas RaoSeptember 22, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    I get a lot of medical prescription mails. I never open them. How do I use Quick Heal to filter out these nuisance mails.

    Reply
    • Hi Ravindra,

      Quick Heal’s Email Security filters out spam emails but it is not completely foolproof. Senders of spam emails always devise new ways to get their mails past these filters of security software as well as the inbuilt scanners of the email providers. If such mails are coming through to your inbox, it is best to report them as spam or delete them straightaway.

      Regards.

      Reply
  26. Pradeep KumarSeptember 22, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Thanks Rahul,

    Very informative write-up.
    I am using Quickheal total security for last several years without any problem.
    But for last more than one year I am getting a mail that shows my ‘Fanbox earnings’I have never subscribed to any such thing nor I participated in any
    such contest. It has emerged from USA and shows my daily earnings in dollers.
    I deleted it several times but to no avail. Idont know whether it is genuine or fake. It gives complete details and address of orgin that I can not verify for its correctness. . So far it has not harmed nor I have ever disclosed any of my details. Please suggest as to what should I do. If you want I can forward to you.

    Pradeep Kumar

    Reply
    • Hi Pradeep,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback and the details of this particular case. If you get this email on a regular basis, it is possible they have received your email address from a reliable source. Instead of deleting it, maybe you can try reporting it as spam. Email providers also have advanced settings wherein you can block all incoming mails from specific senders. Maybe you can make use of that feature as well. Have a look at this Google Help link for more details about Gmail – https://support.google.com/mail/answer/8151?hl=en.

      Regards.

      Reply
  27. Thanks for help

    Reply
  28. only i want to safe my pc…

    Reply
  29. thnx a lot.. i hv installed qhts for mobile. cn u plz explain hw to use in built email security feature

    Reply
    • Hi Pihu,

      The Email Security is in-built with Quick Heal desktop products. Unfortunately, this feature is not available on the mobile products. We apologize for the inconvenience.

      Regards.

      Reply
  30. it is also risky to open such emails as what hapends is the sender puts a image link in the message header which on most email viewers is invisible so as you click on the subject to open the email your email viewer including browser ping the server on which the url of the image which is in your message header so the sender comes to know that you have read the email also sometimes email programs like outlook like to send red or unred receipts to the sender which is also very risky

    Reply
  31. I Like it
    very good

    Reply
  32. jignesh VaviyaSeptember 22, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    hi sir,
    mera quick heal total security is out of date, so my pc is secure please tell me for your suggestion.

    Reply
    • Hi Jignesh,

      If your Quick Heal is not updated with the latest virus databases, your PC will be unable to recognize viruses created after that expiry date. Threats that originated before that date will be handled by your Quick Heal. We strongly recommend that you update your Quick Heal as soon as possible.

      Regards.

      Reply
  33. Good for mobile ya

    Reply
  34. Manas Ranjan PandaSeptember 23, 2014 at 3:06 AM

    Very good news.

    Reply
  35. Guardian Antivirus downloading key is not available but i want to Guardian Antivirus soft ware so how to download and Registration

    plz Reply to me

    Reply
  36. Hello
    i’m also quick heal total security user .. and have been using the antivirus for more than a year.

    can you tell me.. on any website, official website or in emails is share information link via fb or G+ etc will do the same as unsubscribe from this email.. because in both the cases it takes you to new popup windows..?
    and what if it takes me to new popup window and i close it without writing anything?

    Reply
    • Hi Abhinay,

      These buttons are usually there on every website. They allow you to share the link of that website on your Facebook or Twitter walls. The functionality here is very different so the same concept does not apply here. If you close the window without writing anything, then nothing will happen. For safety reasons, never stay signed in to your social accounts when you are visiting other websites. Always sign out when you are done.

      Regards.

      Reply
  37. What if i’ve already clicked unsubscribe button and i’ve got quickheal in my phone?

    Reply
  38. Santosh KewatSeptember 26, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    I am very glad to inform you that if you are using Quick Heal Anti virus(Including All product even Total Security also) in your PC or Laptop thinking that your system is secured from viruses then its making fool to recently I have observed Three to Four Times in my PC that it never detect or delete or repair Recycler Virus if your system is infected with that virus it only prevent to hide that folders creted by recycler virus its my advice to all don’t afford for Costly Anti virus like Quick heal.

    I am using Quick heal Total Security 2014 having license also virus Database upto date Setup is also upto date recently downloaded from its official site beyond that it never helps me to overcome with such problem

    Reply
  39. Santosh KewatSeptember 26, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Recycler Virus catching our data in their SYSTEM INFORMATION folder which is already looks like hidden folder and right protected it never allow us to delete because Its right Protected Folder.

    I am using Same product in my office also and attached Pen drive to that which is already infected with that virus beyond that its never work.

    Can anybody help me to overcome with this problem.

    I think last solution is Formatting my hard Disk.

    Reply
  40. This software very heal of your mobile.

    Reply
  41. But how to use

    Reply
    • Hi Atik,

      Can you please specify what you are referring to? The Email Security feature is present in the Settings of your Quick Heal dashboard. It can be accessed from there.

      Regards.

      Reply
  42. iam in trouble please solve my problem this antivirus isnot updatig

    Reply
  43. Nitu kumar NathFebruary 13, 2017 at 1:42 PM

    I have the honour to inform you that I have lost my mobile. My mobile model is micromax sliver Q424 and its IMEI nos are M_IMEI 1: 911489204052115 & S_IMEI2:911489207051619. Kindly help me

    Reply