Ordering flowers online may lead to junk email

Thinking about sending mom flowers for Mothers’ Day?  While you can get most items cheaper online, flowers are one thing that are better when they’re locally delivered.  You’ll pay less at a local florist because you’re not paying a middleman.  I’ve also learned since my Valentine’s Day test for NewsChannel 5, that you can also avoid a barrage of floral reminders if you skip the online orders.

We tested a few online sites, and needed to give our email information for billing purposes.  When you checkout, you’re usually asked if you want to receive promotional emails.  Sometimes I click the box. Sometimes I don’t. The promotional emails for 1-800-FLOWERS are like none I’ve ever received before, and I do lots of shopping online.

The emails started out slow, with just two in January.  I got four in February, and then March rolled along and the emails skyrocketed. In March, I got an email every two days and sometimes more.  In April, some days I got more than one email. Since January, I’ve received at least 60 emails.  On May 1st, I received three emails.  Mother’s Day is the obvious reason for the onslaught in the last few weeks, but is there really a need to send me more than 60 emails in such a short time?  It’s to the point where I consider them spam.

I could easily hit “unsubscribe,”  but now it’s a game to see just how many emails I’ll get. Interestingly, the floral company gives you the option to reduce the number of mailings to just once a week. They must realize they send out a lot of emails. Your other option when you hit “unsubscribe” is to completely unsubscribe.

If you do a lot of shopping online, it’s a good idea to set-up a separate email address from your primary one.  Then, you can give the secondary email to companies. If you agree to marketing material for the occasional deal, you won’t need to worry about emails clogging up your Inbox. With a secondary account, you only have to read them when you’re looking for a deal.

In the digital age, something as simple as an email address is also a security risk.  Many of us learned this the hard way as our favorite companies emailed us to tell us their email lists were hacked. The hackers may only have your email address, but what information can the hackers gain from that to steal your identity in other places? This is really a concern if your email address is your username on another site.

Enjoy the holiday this weekend, but if you must order mom a gift online — choose carefully who you give your email address to and read all the fine print associated with your order so your Inbox doesn’t get filled with junk.

Related links you may like:
Security breach shines light on tips to protect your personal information
Getting rid of junk email
Erase your digital footprint

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