⚠️ Delete your voicemail greeting
March 29, 2023
In partnership with Rocket Money
Happy Wednesday! What were you doing on this day in 1971? If you were Ray Thomlinson, you sent the first email ever from one computer to another using ARPANET (precursor to the internet). Thank you, Ray!
Speaking of email, thanks for all your kind words about our new newsletter format. You’re lovin’ it and we’re lovin’ that you do, too. If you have any comments, reply to this email and let us know. We read every note. – Kim
IN THIS ISSUE
TODAY’S TOP STORY
Worth stealing: Your voice
Here’s a sentence I never thought I would say: The FTC just issued a new warning for anyone with a custom voicemail that uses your voice. Uh, why? Scammers are using artificial intelligence to clone people’s voices.
Hackers can use your “voice fingerprint” to access your voice-protected financial records or rip off your relatives. Lovely. The best way to avoid this? Delete your outgoing voicemail message that uses your voice and replace it with a generic robot voice.
“Is it me you’re looking for?”
But wait, there’s more! You should also stop saying “Hello?” when you answer the phone to a number you don’t recognize.
Consider where else you may be posting audio and video of yourself.
Pro stance: Now, more than ever, it’s important to keep your Facebook and Instagram private.
To avoid being scammed yourself, never send money to anyone calling urgently. Hang up, call the person back and make sure it was really your niece or brother-in-law or third cousin calling. Warn your family and friends, too.
This app saved me $456.76
How many times have you realized you’re paying for an app, a streaming service or some other recurring subscription you don’t even use? I hate wasting money, and I know you do, too. That’s why I’m so happy to partner with Rocket Money. It’s a free app that spots all the services you pay for monthly or annually — and can even cancel the ones you’re not using.
No more long hold times with customer service or emailing back and forth. Rocket Money makes canceling subscriptions as easy as a click of a button. For the ones you want to keep, they can even negotiate a lower rate.
I tried it and, no joke, Rocket Money saved me $456.76 a year. Love that!
Stop wasting money! Cancel your unwanted subscriptions by going to RocketMoney.com/kim now while you’re thinking about it. →
Worse than the IRS: Tax forms ask for a plethora of personal info like Social Security number, address and more. Think twice if you get one in your inbox. A new malware campaign uses a fake W-9 to steal your details and infect your computer.
Crowded Sidewalk: Amazon’s “Sidewalk” uses part of your internet bandwidth to create a neighborhood mesh network that covers 90% of the U.S. population. Now, platforms other than Amazon can use that network. I don’t think the network is 100% secure. I say turn it off. Get the step-by-step directions here.
I’ll have what she’s having: Ever ordered sushi from a “new” place only to find out … it tastes eerily familiar? Uber Eats is cracking down on “virtual brands” — restaurants that list the same menu under several names to boost in-app orders.
Consider this a Twitter PSA: If you got a coveted blue check prior to Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, you’ll lose it on April 1 unless you pay for Twitter Blue. FYI, Twitter Blue is $8 a month on the site versus $11 a month on the app. You’re welcome.
Tick tock, TikTok: It’s only a matter of time before TikTok is banned — or before the Chinese-owned app makes big changes. In the meantime, get it off your phone. Seriously. I wrote about why it’s so dangerous and the most important step to take after you delete it.
Finders keepers: A woman left her jacket — with AirPods in the pocket — on a United Airlines flight. She got the jacket back … sans earbuds. Not to be deterred, she used Find My to track them down. You guessed it. They were at a United Airlines employee’s house. Yeesh.
Up in flames: If you drive a Hyundai or Kia, it’s not just theft you need to worry about. There’s no official recall yet, but over half a million vehicles could start a fire. If you drive a 2019 to 2023 Santa Fe, 2022 to 2023 Santa Cruz or 2022–2023 Kia Carnival, don’t park in the garage.
The price is right: Thwart porch pirates and avoid door-to-door salespeople with the Ring Video Doorbell 3. It’s $50 off right now. Pro tip: The ideal video doorbell height is 48 inches from the ground.
Is your PC chugging? Good news: Dell’s Semi-Annual Sale is here and you can save up to $500. We use Dell PCs, laptops and servers to power The Kim Komando Show and this here newsletter.
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Sound like a tech pro, even if you’re not one. Try my award-winning, daily podcast. Search for my last name with “K” wherever you get your podcasts and “Go Komando!”
Your degree won’t save you
Get this: AI language-learning models like ChatGPT could affect 80% of the U.S. workforce.
Here are 5 jobs most likely to be replaced by AI:
Sadly, there are more jobs at risk than we can list here. While food prep workers, barbers, lawyers, pharmacists and electricians are less likely to be replaced by bots, that could very well change.
Consider a bot replacing a landscaper. It’ll happen eventually — but we’ll always need a landscaper to train the bot.
My advice: We’re at a pivotal point in history. ChatGPT is bigger than the iPhone, the internet or anything we’ve seen in tech. Become the best at what you do. If you’re mediocre, AI is coming for your job.
You’ve got to move it, move it
Slow Wi-Fi got you down? Before you chew out your ISP, move your router. A terrible location can slow your connection, so follow these guidelines:
Pro tip: Let’s say your router is in your garage. Most home routers use an omnidirectional antenna that radiates radio waves in all directions. So those waves may be shooting in your house and toward the street.
You might be able to change your router’s antenna to a directional antenna that will shoot radio waves in a specific direction — only into the house.
🧐 Need a hand? With the right app on your phone, you can see where the problems originate. Here are the best apps to analyze and fix bad Wi-Fi issues.
BY THE NUMBERS
The number of Panera locations installing Amazon’s palm-scanning payment method. Scan your palm print enough times and you’ll get a free cookie. Yes, seriously. I wouldn’t give Amazon my palm print. Not even for a broccoli cheddar bread bowl …
The amount of money a self-proclaimed 23-year-old Crypto King allegedly scammed from investors. A new report suggests he was kidnapped, tortured and held for ransom.
The cost for 100 stamps being advertised on Facebook. No, it’s not a good deal. It’s a scam. If you see a shockingly good deal on postage (or anything else), close the tab.
WHAT THE TECH?
Controversial opinion of the day: Bacon is overrated.
UNTIL NEXT TIME …
Thanks again for reading. Your support means we can bring smart tech news to you for free. Something you’d love to see us cover in The Current? Reply to this email and let us know. – Kim
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