WiscList (Advanced) - Erroneous Unsubscribes

If your WiscList list has publicly-viewable archives, you may experience the unwanted behavior of list members being erroneously unsubscribed.

What Causes this Issue?

By default, WiscList appends a footer to list messages that includes a link and email address to unsubscribe from the list. This link is uniquely generated for each list member. If the list is configured to allow list archives to be viewed by the public, the list messages will be crawled by spam bots that scan public web pages for email addresses. If one of these uniquely-generated email addresses or links is quoted in the list archives, a spam bot will attempt to visit or send to it, thus unsubscribing a member.

There are some settings you can configure to prevent this from occurring. You do not need to perform each one, so review each option, and make changes based on how you want your list to operate.

Require Confirmation for Unsubscribes

Requiring confirmation for unsubscribe requests should prevent most erroneous unsubscribes. However, a member will receive a confirmation email every time an erroneous unsubscribe request occurs. To change this setting, see WiscList - Confirming Subscribes/Unsubscribes.

Remove/Change Unsubscribe Link from Footer

Removing the unsubscribe link in message footers will prevent future messages from storing the unique unsubscribe links in the list archives. However, this will not remove any addresses or links in the list archives already. If you still want to provide unsubscribe instructions, you can direct users to email leave-listname@lists.wisc.edu, where listname is your WiscList list name. A spam bot can not unsubscribe your users by emailing this address. For instructions to change your list's footer message, see WiscList (Advanced) - Changing Message Header and Footer.

Lock Down List Archives

You can hide your list archives from the public list located at https://lists.wisc.edu/read/all_forums. By hiding your list from this directory, the probability of a spam bot finding your list messages are reduced greatly.

If you don't have a need for your list archives to be available publicly, you can lock them down so only list members can read them. However, list members will have to log in to view the archives with their email address and password, which is an extra administration layer. WiscList - Advanced List Management (List Manager).

To change your list archives visibility settings, see WiscList - Making a List Public.

See Also:

Keywords:wisclist list lists lists.wisc.edu mailing email unsubscribe error suspicious leave unauthorized unexpected spam advanced   Doc ID:12406
Owner:Josh O.Group:WiscList
Created:2009-10-12 18:00 CSTUpdated:2020-11-09 08:07 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, WiscList
Feedback:  1   0