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 Apple CarPlay, deadly chargers, taking advantage of Twitter, and more. Do you have a question you'd like to ask me?
Removing yourself from the internet
Q: I don’t like how much of my personal information is available online. Is it possible to remove your listing from the people search sites?
A: Most Americans will find themselves with a simple Google search, and not just on social media. Addresses, phone numbers, and family trees are often just a few keystrokes away. Some websites peddle in personal information, and every little piece of data makes you more vulnerable to hacking and identity theft. Luckily, there are ways to remove yourself from some of the most notorious websites and make yourself much more difficult to find.
Bad phone chargers
Q: Is it really important that you don’t use third-party chargers? They are so much cheaper!
A: Yes, these knock-off chargers are often cheaper than official Apple or Samsung connectors, but they may also be a liability, causing electrocution, fires and death. Given the risks, you would think that retailers wouldn’t stock the dangerous hardware on their shelves in the first place, but it’s astonishing just how many chargers are available right now at your local store.
So before you pick up that super-cheap cord from the gas station rack, click here for a guide to dangerous chargers.
Q: I somehow got an extra toolbar on my browser. How can I remove it?
A: If you don’t know much about plug-ins, they can sneak up on you. Meanwhile, toolbars can look static and immovable, just another essential part of your computer-operating experience. You may wonder whether you can get rid of a toolbar without compromising your computer’s functionality.
The value of CarPlay
Q: My teenage son won’t look at a car without Apple CarPlay. What do you think?
A: Young drivers should avoid distractions until they get some mileage under their belts. Multimedia in the car isn’t for novices, but for skilled and intelligent drivers who know the rhythms of the road. I would think twice about letting any adolescent play with a screen while driving. That said, smart-screens for cars were developed with safety in mind because they prevent drivers from playing with their smartphones while driving. It’s an imperfect system, but it does enable you to easily sift through playlists, navigate around town, and dictate messages to loved ones without ever touching a virtual keyboard.
Adjusting to Twitter
Q: I don’t get Twitter. What am I missing by not using it?
A: Me, for starters at Twitter.com/KimKomando. Some people are Twitter savants. Since the beginning, they mastered 140-character communication, and they love to exploit hashtags and open conversations with people they would never meet in real life. Twitter gives some folks the chance to correspond directly with celebrities, or hold elaborate public discussions with hundreds of onlookers. But other people just don’t get it. What meaningful thing could possibly be said in such a short space?
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.