Basic Internet Q&A

Why do I get all of these unsolicited emails?

Unsolicited email, also known as Spam, clogs up many Inboxes.  Any time you sign up for something, like a contest, you must enter your email address.  When filling out these online forms, be sure to read the company’s privacy policy.  Or, if provided, check the box that says something like “please do not share my information with your affiliates.”  Once your email address is posted on a mailing list, it may be sold to other companies.  Some free email providers may also sell your email address.  Again, be sure to read the company’s privacy policy.  If you use Outlook or a free service like Hotmail, you can set up policies to immediately delete junk email or put it into another folder.  This will keep your Inbox free of about 75% of the Spam.  Some email lists may provide an opt-out, usually by replying to the email with “Remove” as the subject, or by visiting a removal web page.  If the emails continue to come, you can visit http://www.abuse.net and report the email.

Why do I keep getting disconnected from the Internet?

There are several factors that can contribute to the quality of your Internet connection. The easiest thing to check is the short phone cord between your modem and the wall jack. Try using a different phone cord to see if the connection gets any better. Also, if the cord is very long or wrapped into a bundle, it could add to your problems. Try to keep the line from the wall jack to your modem as short and straight as possible. If the phone cord is going through a surge protector, the interface in the surge protector could be going bad. Try plugging the cord straight from the wall to the PC. If that fixes your problem, replace your surge protector, as you want to keep the modem line protected from surges at all times. If you often have line noise or static on your phones, the wires in your walls could be twisted or damaged. Having your phone lines tested could show that your lines need to be replaced. If you continue to have problems, the problem could rest with your modem or its drivers. Having the modem replaced could also solve your problems.

Why do I get so many unrelated websites when I do a search on the Internet?

There are a lot of websites out there and doing searches will sometimes return websites that only make a small mention of the item for which you are looking.  For instance, doing a search on the word “computers” on Google will return 16,000,000 websites.  Try narrowing down your search.  Most people are looking for something specific and will type in more than one word.  If you’re looking for computers in Kentucky, type in “computers, Kentucky” to search for those keywords and Google returns 302,000.  That’s quite a big difference!  If you’re looking for something close to home, you can type in “Lebanon, Kentucky, Computers.”  There are still 14,100 sites applicable to your search. You can continue to narrow down the search.  Other ways of narrowing down your search include using exact phrases enclosed in quotation marks, like “internet service provides in Kentucky.”  Using a minus sign will show results that do not include the word behind the minus sign, like using “computer –review” will not return any websites that may just be reviews about a certain computer.  Similarly, using a plus sign will do the opposite, only returning results that mention the word “review” in reference to computers.

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