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Kim's column

5 great sites to delete online accounts, create ambient music, see if a site is down and more

According to Internet Live Stats, there are about 1.8 billion operational websites. But far too many sites are junk, so we tend only to frequent our favorites.

That’s why I highlight five bookmark-worthy sites for knowledge, usefulness, or just for fun every week.

The easy way to delete unwanted online accounts

The more online accounts you have, the more at risk you are when hackers come calling. It’s best to keep your digital life buttoned-up. The problem is deleting abandoned accounts can be difficult at best.

Pinterest and Evernote, for example, make it almost impossible to remove your account. Other sites hide their options to delete accounts with links buried deep within the site. JustDelete.Me has done the hard work to put together links to remove your accounts from hundreds of sites.

Tap or click here for a directory of direct links to remove yourself from various websites. 

This Harvard test will tell you if you’re tone-deaf

Do the cats yowling on the back-fence sound better than your rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow?” Let science be your no-judgment zone. Researchers at Harvard University are studying how our minds interpret what we hear.

The Music Lab’s online tone-deafness quiz accurately tests musical skills in about 10 minutes. Grab a pair of headphones and answer questions about the sounds you hear. First, you’ll decide which sounds are loudest to calibrate your speakers. Then the tough part begins, that is, deciding whether you hear a pitch that is higher or lower than the sound before it.

Tap or click here to learn if there’s any hope for your singing.

Is it down for you or the entire world?

The video conferencing service Zoom recently experienced audio and video issues that left many virtual Sunday church goers without weekly service. While confused users flooded social media to try to fix their computers, phones, or tablets, they could have used this site. There was nothing they could do.

Zoom was experiencing a service outage. If a site you use is experiencing issues, Downdetector will display a live outage map, information on where the outage occurred, the time it happened, and the most reported problems.  

Tap or click here for this smart trick to use when a site or service is down.

See life in numbers

I use this site when it’s someone’s birthday to give the celebrator some fun facts about his or her life so far. It’s always a conversation starter.

Try it for yourself. At Life Stats, enter your date of birth and you instantly see the number of times your heart has beaten, how many days you have spent asleep (it’s a lot!), what a dollar was worth when you were born, and more facts including life expectancy statistics.

Tap or click here to get your life stats.

Try a custom ambient sound maker

We all have preferences when it comes to sound. Would you rather get something done in a bustling coffee shop or a silent room? Do you prefer gentle white noise or complete quiet when sleeping?

A Soft Murmur is beautiful, useful and endlessly customizable. Here’s how it works. Visit the site and choose your background noise of choice from basics like rain, thunder, waves and wind to crickets, birds, fire and coffee shop chatter. Set the level for each sound to create your perfect mix. Maybe it’s a coffee shop and rain (cozy!) or waves, wind and birds for a more calming effect.

Tap or click here to create your perfect background noise.

Cook based on your fridge and pantry

Right now, most of us are stocking up on groceries to avoid going back to the store every few days. This makes it difficult to whip up fun new recipes.

If you’re stuck in a rut, you’re going to love MyFridgeFood. Check off the items in your fridge and pantry, and find recipes based on what you have on-hand.

Take our measly selection: bacon, barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, chicken breast, green peppers, pasta, rice, potatoes and oil. We can turn all that into bacon wrapped barbecue chicken (yum!), easy chicken rice casserole (the kind of comfort food we need right now), crockpot chicken pot pie, or so many other yummy-sounding meals.

Tap or click here to get delicious recipes using what you have at home.

Have a site that you like and want to share? Please tap or click here to tell me about it.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

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