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 best part of my job.
This week, I received questions about using credit cards on the Dark Web, where to find cheap Apple Watches, clarification on Facebook swap meets, and more. Do you have a question you'd like to ask me?
Credit Cards on the Dark Web
Q: How do hackers buy credit card numbers on the Dark Web?
A: Many people believe that hackers use stolen data themselves. They find a bunch of social security numbers, and then they create fake passports and open bank accounts for their purposes. But hackers do not need these things; they just want to sell the data to someone else. This includes credit card numbers, which are bought and sold on the Dark Web like any other commodity. Want to be shocked?
Predicted Black Friday Deals
Q: Do you have any thoughts on what deals we can expect on TVs on Black Friday?
A: Gadget sales are always full of surprises, and hot-ticket items from January may have lost their luster by the time November rolls around. Other items take months or even years to attract a following, which can dramatically affect their Black Friday price tags. Around the holidays, a lot of gift-givers veer toward entertainment, and every year I pay close attention to the door-buster sales on wide-screen TVs.
Google Maps Hacks
Q: I use Google Maps. Can you share how you use it? I’d like to learn a few tricks.
A: Most people use Google Maps for quick directions. That’s great, but like everything Google creates, Maps is capable of so much more. You can search by category, save venues, and even use the maps offline. As someone who often finds herself in busy airports, I love the “share location” feature, because it’s stressful to explain where you are when someone is trying to pick you up. Perhaps the least-known option allows you to chart the path you’ve already taken, which can be handy or creepy, depending on how you look at it.
Facebook Swap Meets
Q: I heard you mention Facebook “swap meets” on your national radio show. What are these?
A: When it comes to free exchanges online, almost everything gets compared to Craigslist. After all, Craigslist was the first major website to list classified ads for free, and millions of people still use its stripped-down interface to find babysitters, motorcycles, and acting gigs. But as everyone knows, Craigslist is a crapshoot, and con artists are everywhere. So what’s a safer alternative? Check out Swip Swaps. Unlike Craigslist, Swip Swaps have a certain level of accountability.
Dirt-Cheap Apple Watches
Q: My sister told me that I could buy an Apple Watch for $25 from my insurance company. Is she making stuff up again?
A: I have to laugh because I can only imagine the yarns your sister has spun in the past. But rest assured that this one is true, as long as you are enrolled in one particular insurance company. To paraphrase Hippocrates, the best thing you can do for yourself is get a little exercise, and the Apple Watch is a great motivator. The device can record your movement, your heart rate, and sleep data, and you can easily learn how many calories you’ve burned in a day. If you’re already signed up with John Hancock, you may be able to nab an inexpensive new toy.
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.