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 most difficult part of my job.
This week, I received questions about the risks of taking Facebook quizzes, working from home, hidden smartphone maps and other great topics. Do you have a question you'd like to ask me? Click here to email me directly.
Read this before you take another Facebook quiz
Q: Is it safe to take quizzes on Facebook? What’s the catch?
A: Taking Facebook quizzes is kind of like leaving your car unlocked while you visit the supermarket. There’s a good chance no one will break into your car and steal all your stuff, but why would you take the risk? Some of these quizzes are outright scams and can help hackers steal your identity. Most of them are probably harmless, but their terms and conditions can be very unsettling. Facebook users routinely click past these warnings, but this might lead to problems down the line, long after you’ve forgotten about that one-time quiz about European capitals. Click here to learn about the full dangers of social media quizzes.
One critical step before disposing of a printer
Q: We’re getting rid of our all-in-one printer and buying a new one. I know printers store a lot of our info and I would like to know how to erase it before we pass it on.
A: Before you get rid of any electronic gadget, you should think about what information it might be storing. It’s especially critical to wipe computers, cellphones, and tablets, but other gadgets you might not expect can store data as well, including printers. For all-in-one printers like yours, there is a very simple test you can do that involves disabling the printer, and a very simple way to delete any remaining data. Click here for step-by-step instructions for checking printer data.
Legitimate work-at-home jobs
Q: I need to supplement my income. What are some legitimate work-at-home opportunities?
A: Let me put it this way: There are no easy work-at-home jobs, but if you’re clever and hard working, the internet is overflowing with opportunities. Now, there are also many scams to watch out for, and if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The best online jobs rely on real-life skills, like writing, videography and programming. For these kinds of jobs, the internet is more like a networking tool, allowing you to connect with clients and customers around the world. Gone are the days of data entry and stuffing envelopes. Click here for a comprehensive list of amazing online opportunities.
Hidden maps in your smartphone
Q: I heard you mention on your national show that there are maps in our phones that track everywhere we go. Can you tell me more?
A: At first, it might sound like a conspiracy theory. Does your smartphone contain a secret map that tracks your every move? In actuality, yes. Your phone records just about every step you take, along with the times and dates that you took those steps. Your phone is basically the most sophisticated surveillance system in existence. Many people find that realization unnerving, but there are some pretty simple ways to turn that feature off, especially if you’re worried about someone stealing your data. Click here to find out how to switch off Apple’s Frequent Locations and Android’s Location History.
Make more money in 2017
Q: I want to change careers in 2017. What are some tech skills worth listing on my resume?
Q: These days, people are more tech-savvy than ever. They’re doing more with a tablet than they did with their first three desktop computers. Some skills used to be valuable, like knowing Microsoft Office, but nowadays almost everybody can use a word processor and enter information into a spreadsheet. But if you’re handy with coding, or you have a sophisticated understanding of how social media actually works, you may find some pretty competitive job openings. Even a background in technical writing can land you a decent position at a tech firm. Click here to learn which skills will help your resume stand out.
Looking for more ways to save this holiday season? Wondering what other ways you can reap Amazon rewards? Be sure to listen or download my podcasts, or 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.