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Tech Q&A: Dealing with e-mail issues you can't fix

Steve Alexander, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Science & Technology News

Q: I wondered why I was getting more than 30 spam e-mails a day with names such as "Russian Women Online" or "Best Home Warranty." Then I discovered my Outlook.com e-mail account listed many e-mail "subscriptions" I didn't sign up for. When I clicked to "unsubscribe," I was told I'd be taken to a suspicious-sounding website, so just emptied my junk e-mail instead. What can I do?

-- Carol Bauer, Maple Grove, Minn.

A: Not a lot. You were wise not to visit a sketchy website to unsubscribe. The unsubscribe function for that spam probably doesn't work, anyway.

If these e-mails are appearing in your inbox, send them to your "junk e-mail" folder and let Outlook.com do the rest. If enough people designate these e-mails as junk, Outlook.com's spam filter will begin weeding out the messages before they reach anyone's inbox.

If these e-mails are already routed to your junk folder, you have done all you can.

Note that when you send a message to "junk e-mail," Outlook.com offers you the option of blocking the sender. Don't bother. The "from" address on spam is usually faked. Even if you do manage to block spam from one address, it will just be sent to you from a different one.

Q: Beginning early last year, my credit card company said that its e-mails to my Roadrunner e-mail account were being rejected, even though it had provided me with e-mail billing for years. I switched back to paper billing, but now the credit card company has enrolled me in an e-billing trial, and it's not working. The credit card firm said it can't send anything to my e-mail, which is operated by my cable TV provider. (I still get e-mail notifications from my bank and other credit card firms.) What should I do?

-- Emmett Caraker Jr., Lakeland, Fla.

A: Others have reported similar problems with Roadrunner e-mail, which is technically obsolete and isn't being updated by its owner, cable company Charter Communications, which does business under the brand name Spectrum.

 

Charter inherited the Roadrunner e-mail system when it acquired Time Warner Cable in 2016, but has emphasized its own e-mail system instead. In the past, Charter has suggested that Roadrunner customers with e-mail delivery problems delete or transfer some stored e-mail, since the accounts have limited storage space. A better solution would be to switch to a free e-mail account from Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook, all of which have large storage capacity.

Q: When I click on a Google search result, my Chrome browser often opens a new tab that takes me to a completely different website, usually one that's selling something. When I go back to the search result and click it again, I'm taken to the correct website. What's wrong?

-- Keith Ross, St. Paul, Minn.

About The Writer

Steve Alexander covers technology for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Readers may write to him at Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minn. 55488-0002; email: steve.j.alexander@gmail.com. Please include a full name, city and phone number.

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