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 to switch to a cheaper cell carrier, why banking apps have become so versatile, how to prevent targeted ads from following you around the internet, how to catch a cheating spouse and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Switch phone carriers
Q: I would like to switch to a cheaper carrier. What’s involved? Will I lose my cell phone number?
A: There has never been a better time to switch carriers. Carrier contracts used to be strict and manipulative, but with so much competition from no-contract providers like Cricket and T-Mobile, the more prominent corporations are feeling the pressure.
Customers are tired of proving their loyalty, and many would prefer a plan that’s simple and flexible to all the bells and whistles, especially if they can save some cash. And you may even be able to keep your phone number.
Safe online banking
Q: I’d like to bank online, but I am afraid of hackers. Is this a justified fear or am I being paranoid?
A: On the one hand, online banking is the way of the future. Banking apps have become so versatile that many customers won’t visit a physical bank all year.
Once you can deposit checks and shift funds electronically, the only reason you may need to talk to a banker is to open your safety deposit box.
On the other hand, online banking does mean that your savings are only as secure as a password, and cyber-criminals may be able to steal all your money without leaving their couch.
To prevent this kind of digital heist, there are serious precautions that all banking app users should take.
Q: Can I be anonymous online? I cannot stand all the tracking!
A: The short answer is yes, you can browse anonymously. You can easily change the settings to prevent targeted ads from following you around the internet. You can also use certain browsers to keep your identity a secret. But if you want to protect your identity, including your IP address, you can use a “proxy,” which will make it difficult for anyone to follow you. Still, there are several different types of proxies, and they can be tricky, so make sure you know what you’re getting into. Tap or click here for four ways to keep your anonymity online.
Q: My spouse is cheating on me. I just know it. How can I check his phone?
A: I’m going to start with my usual wisdom: Infidelity is painful and humiliating, and my heart goes out to you.
The best thing that anyone can do is have a frank, honest conversation about the relationship because it’s common for infidelity to be a symptom of more significant problems. (No, that doesn’t mean it’s your fault, but you may have broader marriage issues to work out).
For the record, I don’t recommend spying on anyone, especially without their knowledge. But if you’re committed to checking his phone, especially if you only suspect your spouse of cheating and want to make entirely sure, there are several ways to do this.
Improve cell signal at home
Q: My cell phone signal really stinks in my house. What can I do to improve it, other than move?
A: Houses are designed to shelter us and make us comfortable, not to make cell signals strong or convenient. Millions of Americans find themselves wandering around, stepping onto the back porch, or even waiting for a drive to place an important call.
This is frustrating, of course, because the most accommodating place to have a long conversation is in your digs. Many people will naturally prefer to text or email, or even avoid their phones while spending time at the homestead. There are also ways to boost your signal, so every call comes in crystal clear.
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.