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 winning big prizes, iPhone hacks, Facebook trackers, and more. Do you have a question you'd like to ask me?
Amazon Prime for Less
Q: I love Amazon Prime, but it's so expensive! Can I get it cheaper?
A: There are many ways to get discounts on Amazon Prime, and you may even use Prime (or get a year’s subscription) for free.
This is particularly great news for students and customers who want to open a credit line, but if you’re clever, you can talk a relative into splitting the cost or even use the trial period to your advantage.
Q: I won a trip to Tahiti from your show and it was amazing! Thank you! Do you have other contests that are good to enter? I'm feeling lucky!
A: First off, congratulations again! I hope the roulette wheel keeps spinning in your favor, and yes, there are lots of other contests you might enjoy.
Keep in mind, the internet is teeming with scams, and every time you enter a contest, you should read the fine print.
Many people are surprised when they start receiving a flood of unwelcome emails from companies they don’t really know; getting your information is usually the reason that online contests are set up in the first place.
Q: You've used an iPhone for years. What are some of your best tricks?
A: I do have an iPhone, and like most owners, I love to tinker with its functions. Every smartphone has its array of special tools, many of which are hidden in plain sight and you may not even discover them for months on end.
Even something as simple as the camera’s timer, which you can set for group photos, still takes friends by surprise. And there is so much more.
Ditch Facebook Trackers
Q: I'm so very tired of Facebook's shenanigans. Can I stop them from tracking me where I go on the web?
A: I will be the first to say that the glory days of Facebook are over. So many millions of people relied on social media that they used to accept this cyber-stalking in stride.
But then the public learned about Cambridge Analytica and the way the Messenger app listens to our conversations, and we saw Mark Zuckerberg testifying in Washington.
With so much suspicion swirling around the tech giant, it’s no wonder that targeted advertising no longer feels like an innocent pest. Before, getting Facebook off your back felt freeing; now, it feels vital to our personal security.
The safest strategy, of course, is to simply abandon the service altogether and delete all of your data. But there are also less drastic ways to be left alone.
Double Up on Phone Numbers
Q: I have one cellphone for personal and another one for business. Can I have two phone numbers ring on one phone?
A: Broadly speaking, I think the average consumer uses too many types of communication on a regular basis. We sign up for Skype, WhatsApp, Slack, InMail, and a dozen other services, and then we have to check them individually all day long.
There is nothing wrong with the services themselves; each is very handy in a unique way. The more you can consolidate your messenger services, the less stressed you’ll be. The same goes for cellphones, especially if you have to carry more than one.
Most of us make the mistake of texting the wrong person from time to time, and our confusion grows with every phone we have to keep track of. Luckily, there’s a pretty simple solution.
What questions do you have?
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