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 how Google tracks us when we browse the web, reverse look up of phone numbers, the art of mastering Windows 10 and more.
Do you have a question you'd like to ask me?
Q: Google is tracking everything. Is there a search site that doesn't record what you search?
A: Yes, Google is tracking everything, and although there are many conveniences -- for searching, for connecting, and for finding nearby restaurants -- I wouldn't blame anyone for being concerned about privacy.
If you want to be left alone, but you still want to use the internet, there are specific search engines that value privacy above all and are still extremely useful.
Reverse lookup phone numbers
Q: How do I find out who owns a phone number? I get calls, but I don't know who they are.
A: Many people will refuse to answer their phones if they don't recognize the number. "Let them leave a voicemail if it's so important," they say.
However, when the caller doesn't leave a voicemail, it begs the question: Who was it? Could the call have been important? Was it the organizer of a sweepstakes, announcing that you've won the grand prize? A physician, letting you know that a loved one is in intensive care? Or is it just another telemarketer hoping to wring some money out of you?
The solution is straightforward, and once you identify the number you're looking for, you may find a lot of commentary about it online, especially if it's a known scammer.
Speed up internet
Q: Wow! I followed your directions, and my internet is faster just by changing one setting. Now, I want to do it again, but I lost the steps.
A: It's always great to hear that my advice worked out. Accelerating your internet is something of an art, mainly where Wi-Fi is concerned; sometimes you can move your router around your house, or even move pieces of furniture to "clear a path."
Some people invest in extra equipment, which can enhance the Wi-Fi in your home. In this case, you're looking for a particular setting in the software that will make the internet run faster. It also requires you to follow some specific steps -- and this time, bookmark the page.
Great Windows shortcuts
Q: I use Windows 10, but I feel like a dummy. Do you have any shortcuts that only the pros know?
A: There's a reason Windows has been the go-to operating system for schools and large companies since the 1980s; it's inexpensive, and most people can figure out its fundamentals in less than an hour.
You're right, with every new iteration, Windows brings a lot of new tools, and sometimes helpful features can slow you down. Many of us crave those shortcuts that simplify navigation and workflow.
Just as you guessed, Windows 10 has made it easy to cut corners, once you know the tricks.
Publish on Kindle
Q: I would like to publish a children's story for the Kindle. Where do I start?
A: Self-publishing has come a long way in the past 20 years, and e-publishing is shockingly easy. Kindle Direct Publishing provides a simple platform with global reach, and it's pretty much free.
Meanwhile, you can change the price of your book whenever you want, make it exclusive to Kindle or distribute it elsewhere as well, and even commission a professional to help with design and marketing.
Finally, if you want to revise the book or take it offline, you can do that almost instantaneously. Kindle puts the power at your fingertips, letting you concentrate on the most important thing: writing something good.
What digital lifestyle 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.