Why Must I Re-enter my Email to Unsubscribe?

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Why do some websites have you re-enter your email when you click on “unsubscribe”? Don’t they already know who I am?

At best, it’s because they’re lazy.

At worst, it’s because they want to make it more difficult to unsubscribe.

I suppose there’s an even worse case: it’s spam and you never subscribed to begin with.

There’s simply no excuse these days for any of those possibilities.

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How Do I Unsubscribe from All These Unwanted Emails?

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I am receiving a lot of unwanted e-mails from diet pills to pet supplies and I don’t want to keep deleting 100 e-mails every time I check my mail. I hate going into each e-mail one-by-one to unsubscribe and I don’t know how safe it is for me to open those e-mails in the first place. I was wondering is there an easy free way to unsubscribe without needing to open the e-mail.

I know that this is confusing, but it’s important to realize that there are emails that you can and should unsubscribe from, and emails that you absolutely should never, ever “unsubscribe” from.

I’ll explain why that is, and what the relatively simple rules turn out to be.

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What Do Spam Filters Look At?

Someone commented to me that his spam filter was pretty useless since the spam he was receiving kept coming from different email addresses. The implication was that this person believed that the “From:” address is the only thing that spam filters check.

While that’s possible, it’s also very rare.

These days, spam filters are incredibly complex and sophisticated pieces of software that check much more than you might think.

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‘Tis the Season … to Unsubscribe!

With the Christmas holidays in full swing, it’s a busy, busy time of year.

And nowhere is that more apparent than in our email inboxes. Companies are reaching out to us with a constant stream of last-minute gift ideas, online specials, and more.

The kicker is that these are all legitimate emails from companies we’ve done business with in the past, and that we will, in all probability, continue to do business with in the future.

Just not at this breakneck holiday pace.

It’s the perfect time for a little email pruning.

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Someone Is Signing Me Up for Newsletters I Don’t Want — What Can I Do?

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Some nasty minded individual, maybe an upset employee or an ex-employee seems to be trying to disrupt my email. Recently I’ve started receiving very many free subscriptions to all kinds of online newsletters, publications and other absolute garbage ranging from kids’ clothes to women’s makeup to porn. One day I received over 50 and they keep on coming.

Probably half of these do the correct thing in that I have to respond before they will add me to their mailing lists. The problem is that the other half doesn’t and I just keep getting their emails. Most of these are really a pain to get rid of. I’ve tried unsubscribing many times but they keep coming back. I’m using Thunderbird as my email client, which really doesn’t have any effective spam filter, that I’m aware of. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do?

The very short answer is to treat the messages as spam. I’ll explain why, and I’ll talk about Thunderbird’s spam filter (which does exist), and an alternative solution within Thunderbird.

Read moreSomeone Is Signing Me Up for Newsletters I Don’t Want — What Can I Do?