WONDERING WOMAN: I often get e-blasts or e-newsletter that I didn’t sign up for. How does this happen? Pat W.

Answer: there could be several reasons for this. Probably the most typical one is that your e-mail address showed up in a chain e-mail where the sender didn’t mask the e-mail addresses of the recipients. See related post: Don’t Hit Forward. Some people believe this gives them the right to use these e-mail address any way they want.

Another option could be that you were at a networking event and handed out your business cards. Some “professionals” think that any time they have an e-mail address from someone, it gives them the right to send you their monthly newsletter or e-blast. Technically, and I believe most mass e-mail companies require it, an individually needs to specifically agree to accept your e-blasts. That means you signed up yourself or you signed a document allowing them to add your name to their marketing list. (I personally do not accept verbal permission.)

For those “professionals” who add names to their marketing lists without proper permission, I believe they are showing disrespect for others. This is definitely not professional!

How to you handle this in a professional manner? Don’t send a nasty email to the person, don’t hit “reply” and give them a lecture. Simply select “unsubscribe.” This link is a part of all reputable e-mail marketing companies. It is sometimes difficult to find because it is often in small print and in a light color, but look at the bottom of the e-mail (some of you may need your reading glasses because it is so small). Some companies up it at the top of the e-mail is small print or provide other instructions on how to unsubscribe.

If there isn’t an “unsubscribe” button or link, you have two choices. I have tried both and have had limited success. First is to simply hit “Reply” and type “REMOVE ME FROM YOUR LIST” in the subject line. Another option is to simply hit “Delete,” as many people believe the first option only confirms that your e-mail address is real, encouraging more spam e-mail. This is the price of living in the age of technology!

Anyone else find a better way to deal with this annoyance?