I often have more than 80,000 unread e-mails in one of my inboxes. I'll never get around to reading most of them... They're likely spam from websites I've visited once or twice, and then my address was sold off to others.
I ignore the vast majority of these e-mails, but not everyone ignores the spam. And it can lead to serious problems...
In 2019, 14.4 million people became the victims of identity fraud and had combined out-of-pocket losses of $1.9billion dollars. Turns out, 94% of the malware (software that is designed to disrupt, damage, or hijack your computer system) that circulates the World Wide Web is delivered via e-mail. It seems likely that out of my 80,000 unread e-mails, some of them could steal my personal information.
The key is figuring out how to get to the legitimate e-mails and slowly get rid of the spam. If you want to unclutter your queue, keep this in mind: Our e-mail addresses are now considered personal information, and new laws detail how companies can legally interact with us.
Namely, companies are required to allow you to opt out of receiving e-mail from them. They are also required to allow you to update your e-mail preferences, so you only receive the type of communication that you want from them.
These days, I'm selecting my e-mail preferences on each company's website and allowing functional information only – receipts from purchases or messages related to my purchases. If I think it will be junk e-mail, I'll register my name but with an incorrect spelling, a letter or vowel planted in the wrong spot. That way, whenever I see an ad e-mail misspelling my name, I know it's marketing that I likely didn't want in the first place.
So, let's say you have an Etsy account. If you log in to your account and go to your account settings (in the drop-down menu under the icon at the top of the page that says "You"), you will see a tab that says "Emails." Click on that tab, and you'll be able to update your user e-mail preferences. Here you can uncheck the e-mail subscriptions that you don't wish to receive. Once you have made your selections, you scroll to the bottom of the page and click the button to save your settings.
There's no longer a need to feel overwhelmed by marketing advertisements. By law, you can set your preferences for each (legitimate) company that contacts you. You can do this in just a few simple steps:
1. Click on the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of your e-mail. This link may be hard to see at first. Some companies keep the font size for the link tiny – "small print," as they say. Clicking on this should take you to the company's web page on the Internet and give you a list of simple options.
Side note: Sometimes your e-mail provider will recognize that you have been sent this e-mail from a common marketer, and the unsubscribe link will appear in a separate area at the top of the e-mail.
2. Select the type of e-mails you want to receive. As I mentioned, I usually do "functional only," but occasionally, I'll opt for information or marketing. After all, if I'm interested in the company, why not give them a chance?
3. Save your preferences and close the web page. Your selections should be updated within 10 business days.
Of course, with Stansberry Research, we likely found you (and you found us) through our marketing. And we'd love to have you try out more of our content, but we'll respect your preferences no matter what you do with them on our site. And by the way, several folks eventually became Alliance members and even say they miss the old marketing that brought them into the group. Most of our Alliance members are like you... they viewed and eventually liked our marketing pieces enough to sign up.
Do what I do and if you receive an e-mail from an address that you don't recognize or that looks like randomly generated numbers and letters, DO NOT click any of the links. This e-mail could include a harmful computer virus. Mark this e-mail as spam with a right click while on your computer, and it will filter into your junk-mail folder. That tells the e-mail provider it's junk. If enough folks do that, we can get rid of most of the scam artists.
Sometimes these e-mail addresses look very similar to legitimate addresses, so be sure to read them carefully. If you think someone you know has sent you a questionable e-mail, always follow up with them by giving them a phone call.
- What is spam? Definition and types of spam.
- Something different: Ice Age hunters' leftovers may have fueled dog domestication.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
January 26, 2021