Even though you use good spam filters, spam emails can flood your inbox. Spammers are always ready to invent new ways to fight the filters and smuggle their message in your inbox. Before you remove email from a spam list, it is important that you make the distinction between spam and newsletters or email for which you have subscribed for from a website or blog. If you have given your name and email address in exchange for information or a free product from an individual or company, you have basically given your permission to be added to a contact list in order to receive email communications.
Companies which are real and legitimate will remove your email address from their notification lists if you use the unsubscribe link they included in their messages. As you can assume, it is much harder to get off a scam company’s list, but there are some steps you can undertake to prevent spam from flooding your inbox.
Emails for which you have given permission to be sent (by providing your details on the webpage or by writing in exchange for the information or a free product) are technically not considered spam. However, don’t be surprised if the marketers send messages to you more frequently than you have expected. You should look for an “Unsubscribe” link in the email that is provided by the legitimate companies or individuals as a way for you to stop receiving their emails.
Click the “Unsubscribe” link which is often located at the bottom of the message, if you wish to stop receiving the emails and confirm unsubscribe request if asked. You should immediately be removed from the sender’s list if the company is legitimate and real.
You can determine if the company that sent you the spam email is legitimate or questionable via checking it online for example. You will not recognize the names of questionable companies not even by going online and they are often selling sketchy items such as prescription drugs, get-rich-quick schemes, male enhancement products or fake designer goods.
What you could also do is report the spam message to the sender’s ISP and email provider if the message is from a questionable company. The Spamhaus Project says you should never click the unsubscribe link in this type of message as it will notify the spammer that your email address is active and that your mail is being read. At worst, you might be taken to a malware-infected website and consequences could be much worse (losing data etc.). If the ISP or email provider gets enough complaints, it might decide to shut down the spammer. You could sign up with a service called Spam Cop to reduce junk mail and to automate reporting of spam to the senders’ ISPs and email providers.
Be aware that signing up for email address removal services doesn’t always work as some charge a fee and do not perform any service, while others are free but are a front to collect addresses. You will get even more junk email when and if you sign up.
After you have undertaken all necessary measures, i.e. checking if the sender is a reliable company or not, and if you have concluded that the message received is a spam you can identify suspected spam messages by clicking the “mark as spam” button or similar choice in your email client. Don’t click “Unsubscribe” link in this type of email as the scenario described above will certainly happen.
Above all you need to learn how to protect your email address and be careful when sharing it with companies and individuals. Avoid posting your email address on the Internet often, or consider creating an email account that will be used only as a “junk email” address.