Delete, Delete, Delete

Too many people still hit the “unsubscribe” link instead of the “delete” key when dealing with spam emails and texts. Then they wonder why they get even more spam. It’s simple: You’ve identified yourself as a live person, and you’ll click on something sooner or later.

The problem came to the forefront when one of our clients got hacked. In conversation, they complained about getting too much junk email – no matter how often they hit that “unsubscribe” link. They were beside themselves, but that didn’t need to be the case. And with the Presidential and Congressional election campaigns expected to be full blast for the next 15 months, you can expect to be inundated with unwanted emails.

Here are our junkyard tips for handling junk email and texts.

First and foremost, remember that “unsubscribe” and “delete” are not the same thing. When you hit the unsubscribe link, you are sending a response to an entity you never agreed to have a relationship with. You’ve let them know they hit a live, active email address they and their partners can exploit. It’s like letting a stranger into your house, and they immediately invite their buddies in to raid your refrigerator and see what else is around.

If you hit the delete key, you’ll erase that email – or text – from your device simply and immediately. That’s it. No interaction. They may figure it’s a valid email address or mobile phone number, but they can’t tell for sure it’s active, and they may decide to take yours off their list.

Our rule on unsubscribing is: Only unsubscribe from a list you subscribed to. We all get on various mailing lists for stores or as part of getting a special discount. You should not have any problem disengaging.

The same rules apply to text messages. Delete them. You can report them as junk if you like, but it’s enough to delete them. Be wary of any email or text that starts with “Hi, how are you?” Most are an attempt to hack your system. Just delete them.

With email or text, don’t click on links from strangers. Be careful about the sender. Hackers are getting much better at spoofing corporate logos and adding one character somewhere to a URL to fool you. It’s always safer to open a browser independently on your device and go to a website from there.

In addition to the political fundraising getting into full swing, the holiday shopping season is about to begin. You’ll get even more junk and see even more attempts to hack your system with offers “you can’t refuse.” Don’t just refuse them; delete them. For some hackers, this is the ideal time to plant malware or ransomware by catching you with your guard down.

If you think that you have taken in malware or ransomware by mistake, shut off your device and call us at 973-433-6646. We’ll help you take the steps to remove any malicious software on your device and get you safely back online.