How To Limit Email Spam & Keep Your Device On The Faster Band Of A Dual Wi-Fi Router | Q&A with Patrick Marshall

Q: About a month ago, I started receiving large amounts of spam email on a daily basis, probably more than 15 a day. I may have been guilty of clicking a link, but me and my wife are very careful not to.

I’ve followed all the sender blocking instructions for my email account, but they keep coming in. I have my Outlook junk files option set to high filters. The next level up indicates that I only receive emails from those on my safe senders list. Of course I don’t want to do that because of the work involved and maybe I’m missing someone.

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I hope you know a method that will solve this problem. I don’t want to change my email address, that would be a nightmare not only with the personal lists but also with all the business lists.

Ted Williams

A: I’m afraid there’s little you haven’t done to deter spammers once they get their hands on your email address.

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

For example, you can tag 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 email servers so they don’t get stuck with blacklists or your tags.

Some programs scan emails for keywords or phrases typical of spam. But that can filter non-spam you want. So you should regularly check the spam filter for mail you want.

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

For my part, 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 the one I use to connect to businesses and when I need to provide 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 the past three years, is still not getting spam. The old address is getting tons and I regularly do a quick scan to retrieve all the emails I want to respond to.

Ultimately, the only surefire way to significantly reduce the amount of spam passing through mail servers is to charge a small fee 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 an extended period of time, the 5G connection is lost and I am on the non-5G network instead. I often don’t realize this switch 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 over both the 5GHz and 2.5GHz bands. The 5GHz supports faster connections, but has less range than the 2.5GHz band.

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

If your computer is set up to automatically connect to the 2.5 GHz band or both bands and you move out of the router’s 5 GHz band, the computer connects to the 2.5 GHz band.

To check if your computer is set up 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 that connection. Click the Wireless Properties button and see if the box next to “Connect automatically when this network is in range” is checked.

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