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July 9, 2019

Privacy Tip of the Week: Remove Yourself From Email Lists

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Sometimes an email list is helpful. Businesses can use them to send you coupons, organizations can use them to send you news. Sometimes email lists are annoying. Companies may send you several emails a day that clutter your inbox with spam. And sometimes, email lists are insidious vessels of viruses that may be dangerous if accidentally clicked. Because most lists also know personal information about you, including your name and contact information, they may also impact your privacy. If you fall in the camp of being annoyed by mailing lists, you can take steps to remove your name and information from them, and help protect your privacy too. To remove yourself from email lists and prevent it from being added to more, you can:

  • Use the unsubscribe button
  • Check out as a guest
  • Create a second account
  • Pay for a removal service
  • Refuse to click suspicious links
  • Block the sender

Use the Unsubscribe Button

One of the first and most efficient steps to take to remove yourself from mailing lists is to simply unsubscribe from them. When you get a message from an organization, there should be an unsubscribe button somewhere in that message, often in the footer. Be cautious; if you don’t trust the source of the email, don’t click any buttons in it. They may be hidden viruses that can hurt your computer or privacy. Move on to another tactic to remove yourself from email lists instead.

Check Out as a Guest

Once you’ve unsubscribed from old email lists, you’ll want to prevent your name from going onto new ones. One of the most common ways for a business to get your name and email is by asking for it when you sign up to use their service, or when you check out on ecommerce stores. Where possible, log in or check out as a guest to avoid them storing your information. Also keep an eye out for checked boxes that allow you to opt in or out of email subscriptions. This allows you to set your own preferences.

Create a Second Email Address

As much as you can try not to give away your email address, some services make it mandatory. If you can’t avoid using that service, create a second email address instead. You can attach a different name to that address and use it to keep your privacy safe while having the online freedom to use any service you may need.

Pay For a Removal Service to Remove Yourself From Email Lists

Earlier we mentioned that you shouldn’t click buttons in emails you don’t trust the source of. So if you can’t use the unsubscribe button, how do you remove yourself from their email lists? One method is to pay for a removal service. These services will do a search of email lists that include your name, and they can go through the process of removing it for you. Do proper research to find a reputable service that works best for you.

Refuse to Click Suspicious Links

Just as you shouldn’t click suspicious buttons or links in an email, the same goes for anywhere else online. By clicking anything out of the ordinary, you run more than just the risk of attracting a virus to your computer. You may accidentally reveal information attached to your online profile that leads to spam emails filling your inbox and a breach of privacy. The best way to avoid this is simply to not click anything you don’t trust 100%.

Block the Sender

If you can’t find or don’t trust an unsubscribe button, and you don’t want to pay for a removal service, one last way to stop mailing lists from sending you messages is to block the sender. While this method keeps your inbox clean, it doesn’t remove your name and email address from the organization sending you emails.

Email lists don’t have to be annoying, nor do they have to invade your privacy. You can remove yourself from email lists with ease. There are always ways to stay better protected online, such as by using a VPN service.

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