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 the best low-cost cellphone plans, how to know if your Uber driver is spying on you, how to erase printer data, insider Android tricks to boost connection, and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Safely Dump a Printer
Q: I want to get rid of an older printer. Does it have storage like a hard drive? I have printed a lot of personal documents over the years.
A: We often think of a printer as a matter of paper and ink, and if we think about it, Wi-Fi as well. When you decide to get rid of your printer, you are also throwing out the information that it contains.
A skillful cybercriminal can glean a lot of information about you, and possibly copies of important documents, from the simple circuitry of your printer.
Stop Rideshare Spies
Q: How can you know if your Uber or Lyft driver is recording you when you are in their car? This action seems like a privacy invasion!
A: If a voyeuristic driver decides to record your ride, or even go so far as to livestream it, they can use tiny cameras and careful placement to avoid detection. (And, after a long night at the bar, or during an early morning drive to the airport, are you examining a car for concealed surveillance equipment?)
So, if you decide to use the services, be cautious. Most drivers deserve the stars they have earned. However, some are just charismatic creeps, and you should know the signs.
Save on Cell Service
Q: My cellphone bill keeps going higher and higher. What are the best low-cost plans?
A: If you want to get angry, ask someone from another country how much they pay for cell service. I don’t mean necessary calls and text; I mean full data, with GPS, streaming video, the works.
Many places have extensive wireless service and users pay as little as $20 per month. So why should you spend $100 a month or more for (roughly) the same thing?
Moreover, what if you can’t afford the high price tag of AT&T or Verizon? Some companies offer reduced rates and flexible terms. They aren’t glamorous, but you might be surprised by the quality.
Recoup for Late Flights
Q: You were talking on your radio show about how to use an app to get money back when flights are canceled. Can you tell me more?
A: Once you have spent a few hours milling around an airport, a delayed flight can feel like a personal insult, and tempers can get heated very quickly. Millions of passengers have wondered, at one time or another, whether their time can get compensated when flights fail to leave on time, or at all.
In the past, we have been at the mercy of 800 numbers and the endless elevator music as we wait for a human voice. With this new app, you can quickly tally how much this delay is worth and set the reimbursement process in motion.
The situation can still be obnoxious, but you will at least feel a little in control, and maybe even recoup your losses.
Boost Android Signal
Q: My Android phone keeps losing its connection. How can I fix this?
A: Your phone is only as useful as its reception, and when the cellular and Wi-Fi signals are both active, things might get tangled. You may not find this comforting, but this is a common problem.
Luckily, it’s also an easy one to fix, if you have a little patience and are willing to troubleshoot.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call my national radio show and tap 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, tap or click here for my free podcasts.