Q: About a month ago I started receiving large amounts of spam every day, probably over 15 a day. I may have been guilty of clicking on a link, but my wife and I are very careful not to.
I’ve followed all sender blocking instructions for my email account, but they keep coming. I set my Outlook junk files option to high filters. The top level indicates that I will only receive emails from those on my safe senders lists. Obviously I don’t want to do this because of the work involved and I might miss someone.
I hope you know a method that will solve this problem. I don’t want to change my email address, it would be a nightmare not only with personal lists but also with all professional lists.
— Ted Williams
A: I’m afraid you haven’t done much yet to deter spammers once they get their hands on your email address.
Most email clients and spam blockers rely on several different strategies to filter spam, but they all have limitations.
You can, for example, mark spam senders in your email client so that future emails are not accepted. And some anti-spam programs maintain a blacklist of spammers. But spammers often switch mail servers so they don’t get caught by blacklists or your tags.
Some programs scan emails for typical spam keywords or phrases. But it can filter out the non-spam you want to have. So you should regularly check the spam filter for the mail you want.
If you don’t want to change your email address, I recommend that you apply any spam filters offered by your client, but even then you will need to check the filters regularly. And you might want to try one or more of the complementary anti-spam programs available. But know that they all have limits.
For me, when the spam got too much on my regular email account, I opened a new account and turned the old email account into a spam trap. The old address is what I use to log into businesses and when I need to give an email address online. The new address is reserved for family, friends and other trusted people. The new address, which I have been using for three years, still does not receive spam. The old address is getting tons and I periodically do a quick scan to pull out all the emails I want to reply to.
Ultimately, the only surefire way to drastically reduce the amount of spam passing through mail servers is to institute a small charge for sending emails.
Q: I have CenturyLink Internet for Wi-Fi. Two different networks appear under my Wi-Fi symbol. One is labeled “CenturyLink 5G” and the other is labeled “Century Link”.
5G is much faster so I always select it and it always connects (CenturyLink has been very reliable for me). However, if I leave my computer for a while, the 5G connection drops and I’m on the non-5G network instead. Often I don’t realize this shift has happened until the ball spins and spins. Is there a way to prevent this from happening?
— Carl Deuker
A: There are two things to know. First, most modern Wi-Fi routers are dual-band. They support connections on the 5 GHz and 2.5 GHz bands. 5 GHz supports faster connections but has less range than the 2.5 GHz band.
Second, you can configure your computer to automatically connect to specified Wi-Fi routers.
If your computer is configured to automatically connect to the 2.5 GHz band or both bands and you move out of range of the router’s 5 GHz band, the computer will connect using the 2.5 band. GHz.
To check if your computer is configured to automatically connect to the 2.5 GHz band, go to the Network and Sharing Center in Control Panel. In the list of active networks, click on this connection. Click the Wireless Properties button, then check to see if the box next to “Automatically connect when this network is in range” is checked.