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 smart data plans, deflecting spammers, resume makeovers, and more. Do you have a question you'd like to ask me?
Detect Spy Apps
Q: I think my wife put a spy app on my phone. She suspects that I am fooling around on her. How can I find it?
A: As you most likely know, your phone holds an enormous amount of private information, and always more than you realize. Most of us would like to protect our photos and texts, even if they don’t contain information that is immediately damaging. Digital spying is always a fearsome prospect, especially when the spy is a suspicious loved one. When couples describe intense marital distrust, I always urge them to seek help, either from friends or professionals.
Stop Spam Texts
Q: Please tell me that there is something I can do to stop the spammy text messages. It’s so annoying!
A: “This is outrageous!” you cry. “All these pinging texts from companies I’ve never heard of! It’s harassment! It should be illegal!” Well, guess what: It is illegal—depending on where the spammy text comes from. Many of those texts come from con artists who are trying to steal your information or install malware on your phone. And even if you have a relationship with a company and freely gave your phone number, you don’t have to endure the endless influx of advertisements. There are several tactics you can use to block those dubious numbers. Better yet, you can report spam to your carrier, which should help others as well.
Monthly Data Use
Q: How do you know the amount of data you might use monthly? My carrier wants to pick a plan, but I have no clue whether I need 10GB or 50GB.
A: Signing up for a phone can be a long and tiring experience, and many of us shrug our way through the data conversation. How much data does it take to watch Netflix? What if you’re streaming Pandora during a two-hour commute? Does your GPS burn data while you’re moving around, or only when you’ve set a specific destination? This doesn’t apply to people with unlimited data plans, which have become more common. But for folks with limited gigabytes to spare, you may benefit from an informed calculation.
Adjusting to Windows 10
Q: I am having a hard time getting used to Windows 10. Are there ways I use the keyboard to do things like in older versions of Windows?
A: No matter what the software or operating system, every update leaves some people stranded. We get accustomed to certain macros and shortcuts, and then the developer changes everything, rendering useless all our hard-won knowledge. I know a lot of audio editors, for example, who learn a particular edition of a particular editor, and then they lose all their tricks when they transition to a new suite. This can really slow down your workflow, or it can feel cumbersome like you’re relearning how to use a computer. But Windows 10 has some cool new shortcuts, and you’ll probably pick them up fast.
Revamp Your Resume
Q: After the holidays, I am going to look for a new job. I have not done a resume in years. How do I get started?
A: Promising yourself a better job can be a great New Year’s resolution. But resumes are tricky, especially if you haven’t written one for a while. A good first step is to do an image search on Google or Bing for “resume,” and maybe include your profession. You’ll find lots of examples of strong resumes, which will help you include relevant accomplishments and write effectively about them. Almost every word processor has its cache of attractive resume templates, and you can find lots more if you know where to look.
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