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How to limit email spam and how to keep device on faster band of dual Wi-Fi router | Q&A with Patrick Marshall

Q: About one month ago I began getting large quantities of spam email daily, probably 15-plus per day. I may have been guilty of clicking on a link, but I and my wife are very careful about not doing that.

I have followed all of the block sender instructions for my email account but they still keep coming in. I have set my Outlook junk files option to high filters. The next level up indicates I will only receive emails from those on my safe sender lists. Obviously, I do not want to do that because of the work involved and I may miss someone.

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I am hoping you know some method that will fix this problem. I do not want to change my email address, that would be a nightmare not only with the personal lists but also all of the business lists.

Ted Williams

A: I’m afraid there’s little you haven’t already done to deter spammers once they get hold of your email address.

Most email clients and spam blockers rely on several different strategies to filter out spam but they all have limitations.

You may, for example, tag senders of spam in your email client so that future emails won’t be accepted. And some anti-spam programs maintain a blacklist of spammers. But, spammers often change mail servers so they don’t get snagged by blacklists or your tags.

Some programs scan emails for keywords or phrases that are typical of spam. But that may filter out non-spam that you want to have. So you have to regularly check the spam filter for mail you want.

If you don’t want to change your email address I recommend that you apply all the spam filters your client offers, but even then you’ll need to regularly check the filters. And you may want to try one or more of the available add-on anti-spam programs. But be aware that they all have limitations.

For my part, when the spam got to be 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 the one I use to connect to companies 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’ve been using for the past three years still gets no spam. The old address gets tons and periodically I do a quick scan to pull out any emails I want to respond to.

Ultimately, the only surefire way to greatly reduce the amount of spam transiting 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.”

The 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 any length of time, the 5G connection is dropped, and I’m on the non-5G network instead. I often don’t realize this switch has occurred until the ball spins and spins. Is there any way to keep this from happening?

Carl Deuker

A: There are two things to know about. First, most modern Wi-Fi routers are dual band. They support connections over both 5GHz and 2.5GHz bands. The 5GHz supports faster connections but has less range than the 2.5GHz band.

Secondly, you can set your computer to automatically connect to specified Wi-Fi routers.

If your computer is set to automatically connect to either the 2.5GHz band or both bands and you move out of range of the router’s 5GHz band the computer will connect using the 2.5GHz band.

To check on whether your computer is set to automatically connect to the 2.5GHz band go to the Network and Sharing Center in the Control Panel. In the list of active networks, click on that connection. Click on the Wireless Properties button and then see if the box next to “Connect automatically when this network is in range” is checked.

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