🏧 Important online banking step to take
May 7, 2023
In partnership with TotalAV
Easy like Sunday mornin’! Let’s start with trivia. Jeff Bezos is about to spend this summer aboard his new $500 million sailing yacht, the largest in the world. Is she … 321, 417, 643 or 911 feet? I’m sure I contributed to its purchase. Answer at the end, along with a video of it, too.
Because today’s the day you should rest, you’ll find a slew of ways to make your tech life easier. When you see icons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and email, click one to instantly share that story with your family and friends. Knowledge is power! — Kim
📫 First-time reader? Sign up here. (It’s free!)
IN THIS ISSUE
“Alexa, please shut up”
Every week, I write two special features for USA Today. They don’t publish on their site until next week, but because you get my free newsletters, you’re in the know first!
Amazon’s Echo speakers, and the Alexa assistant, are incredibly useful … and pretty darn invasive. If you have one (or more), let’s make them as helpful as possible. Change these settings to stop the biggest annoyances.
Alexa monitors and learns your behavior and requests. Then it knows what you missed. The response to “Alexa, good night” might be, “You left the kitchen light on. Would you like me to turn it off?”
Instead of shouting, “Leave me alone!” turn off Amazon Hunches. Just say, “Alexa, disable Hunches,” and you’re good to go.
Up past your bedtime? Adjust Alexa’s volume so she doesn’t wake the whole house. Just say, “Alexa, turn on whisper mode.” After that, any time you whisper to Alexa, she’ll whisper back.
Your music is muffled
You put on some tunes to clean the house, and the sound is just weird. Now and then, it happens. Luckily, the fix is simple: Unplug the Echo, wait 30 seconds, then plug it back in. The magic restart trick helps in most tech.
Alexa often parrots back what you said to make sure she understands. If you say, “What’s 34 minus 13?” you’ll hear the entire equation before getting the correct answer. It’s grating, but you can stop it.
✅ I have more to share that I can’t fit here, including a super important security step you must take so no one can listen in on your speakers. Tap or click here to get what as Paul Harvey would say, “The rest of the story.”
📲 Oh, what does Alexa like to have for breakfast? Siri-al!
DEAL OF THE DAY
🎧 Want the daily download on the go?
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!”
ON THIS WEEK’S SHOW
I talked to some seriously fantastic folks on my national radio show this week. Here are just a few:
I also helped Vincent test his employees to see if they would fall for phishing scams, Tracy get a legit work from home job, Vince get into email marketing for free, Skip find an email address that’s not Google and doesn’t track him, Linda use the right adapter for her trip overseas, Jim listen to CDs in his new car and more!
📻 Listen to my answers and lots more on your local radio station or listen now in the Komando Community. If you’re patient, get the answers on my podcast, Kim Komando Today, next week.
🤗 Need my help? Leave me a note here. I read them all myself!
Buying this stuff will save you money
Energy prices are high and probably only going to get higher. Buy the right tech to cut usage, and it’ll pay for itself.
Smart thermostats: They know the weather, how long it takes for a room to reach a specific temperature, if you’re away or home and can cool the house before you arrive. Pro tip: Set it and forget it. Raising and lowering the temperature manually defeats the purpose.
Our pick: Amazon’s Smart Thermostat is affordable, ENERGY STAR certified and easy to install.
Smart sprinklers: They automatically water your lawn based on weather conditions and know the best time of day to get the most out of each session. They don’t water when it’s raining (or just rained), either.
Our pick: The Rachio 3 automatically creates watering schedules for eight zones, takes just 30-minutes to install and no special tools required.
Smart shades: Motorized shades cool your home, which means your air conditioning won’t have to work as hard. Plus, they just feel fancy.
Our pick: Yoolax motorized shades work with the included remote control at the touch of a button. You can set a schedule or let the shades operate based on the time of day.
✅ Get our picks for smart bulbs and smart plugs over on my site.
How to outsmart cybercriminals
Tech smarts and good judgment aren’t enough anymore. You need the right tool to have your back — on all your devices.
I trust TotalAV. It’s simple to install and use, and they’ve received the VB100 award for detecting more than 99% of malware samples for the last three years in a row.
You won’t find a lower price anywhere. You get a year of protection on five devices for just $19!
DIY SECURITY TIP
Take this banking app security step
What’s the name of your first pet? What about your hometown? Mom’s maiden name? You won’t find those questions from any security-conscious company. It’s too easy for others to know or find the answers.
Banks use far more sophisticated methods to identify who you are.
Major problem, folks
The four biggest banks in the U.S. — Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo — offer two-factor authentication (2FA), but it’s not always on by default. You need to change that.
Bank of America: Set up 2FA security to trigger every time you log into the mobile app. Set it up in the Security Center.
Chase: Same deal. Chase has its own Security Center, where you can tweak various settings, including 2FA.
Citibank: 2FA is not on by default. Go to Profile > Security Center > 2-Step Authentication and toggle on the setting.
Wells Fargo: Open the app and go to Security & Profile to turn on 2FA. Wells Fargo also offers a $25 portable security device that generates a random security code every 60 seconds.
💵 A few years ago, my banking app was not refreshing. I called support and they told me to remove my cache. Ha!
WHAT THE TECH?
I thought I heard an onion singing a Bee Gees tune. Turns out it was just a chive talking.
UNTIL NEXT TIME …
🛳️ The answer: Jeff Bezos’ superyacht Koru is 417 feet. Interestingly, while it has an outdoor pool, there is no room for a helipad because Koru has three masts. Like all good billionaires, a separate support yacht with a helipad will accompany Koru on its trips. I found this video of Koru’s first day of sea trials.
🧠 You’re here because you’re smart. Share those smarts with a friend or two. Your support helps us send this free newsletter every single day. I appreciate you! — Kim
How’d we do?
What did you think of today’s issue?