Each week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products and all things digital. Sometimes choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the most difficult part of my job.
This week, I received questions about how to speed up your Wi-Fi, how to know if your gadget has a virus, selling used tech online and more. Do you have a question you'd like to ask me? Click here to email me directly.
Speed up your Wi-Fi
Q: Will a new router speed things up? The one I have now is a few years old.
A: As you probably know, not all routers are created equal. You're wise to ask about specific models and the speeds you'll get out of them. A household that runs multiple devices can really stress the available broadband, especially if you're streaming lots of media and saving large files to your cloud. You'll want to get the best model possible to keep up with your activities, and you'll also be in the market for something that lasts. Click here for a list of the speediest wireless routers.
Does my phone or tablet have a virus?
Q: Maybe I am paranoid. How do you know if your phone or tablet has a virus or hidden malware?
A: First off, you can never be too cautious. Attract the wrong ransomware, and you'll have to pay handsomely for your most treasured files. Get a spyware infection, and someone might spy on you through your gadget’s webcam. All of this is terrifying, and it's especially terrifying if you don't even know your phone or tablet is infected. So how do you diagnose your device? There are a few clear symptoms of an infected system. Click here to diagnose your phone or tablet for viruses.
Selling used tech online
Q: I have a drawer loaded with old gadgets. Are they worth selling?
A: You would be amazed what people will buy, and how easy it is to find them. On one side, you'll find a host of collectors and tinkers who like to refurbish old gadgets or integrate their parts into projects. On the other, there are people who just won't let go of their old gear, but they need equally old components (CD ROMs, Nokia chargers, floppy disks) to make them useful. But how do you track these people down? The internet is the most obvious connection, and you'll find scads of online marketplaces where you can list your electronics for free. But there are other, more personal ways to find a buyer of your dusty tech. Click here to learn how to make money off those old gadgets.
Fight Facebook frauds
Q: My friends are getting Facebook friend requests from me. But here’s the kicker: They are not from my account. What’s going on?
A: There are a few possibilities: One is that someone created a brand-new account that is modeled on yours, using your name, pictures, and personal information to make it look convincing. The second is that someone hacked your account and is using it for malicious reasons. Either way, you’ll want to get to the bottom of it quickly. Click here to learn about Facebook cloaking.
Vetting a new app
Q: How do you know if an app is safe to download? I don’t want to bog my phone down or get a virus.
A: The best way to protect yourself is to research the app online, especially if it’s obscure. When an app doesn’t work well or leads to serious problems down the line, most customers are quick to alert the internet about their experience. I would recommend going conservative and only downloading apps that come from big, popular and respected sources. But even if an app sounds great and there’s no info available, some signs are pretty clear. Click here to see if an app is safe to download.
What questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.