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Kim's Column

Doxing defenses, games for retirees, breaking up with Google, and more: Tech Q&A

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 breaking up with Google, doxing defenses, online prescriptions and more.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?

Tap or click here to email me directly.

Google breakup

Q: I hate that Google tracks me. Are there ways to have a Google-free online life?

A: There are, but you have to jump through a few hoops to get to nirvana. One way to protect your personal information while browsing online is to download Tor, which encrypts your every movement and grants you access to the Dark Web.

That may be overkill, which is why you need to first try free and easy to use browsers that offer a privacy-focused alternative to Google. Tap or click here for alternatives to Google that don’t track you.

Stop doxing

Q: My sister is the victim of doxing. It’s so upsetting. What can I do to make sure it does not happen to me?

A: I’m so sorry your sister had to go through that, and I hope the damage was minimal. This is the downside of our hyper-connected age: we leave a much bigger paper trail on the internet then we could possibly realize, and a motivated analyst can put those particles of information together and use them against us.

This isn’t necessarily the tool of a seasoned cybercriminal; much of this data is publicly available, and it just takes a little sleuthing to expose your most uncomfortable secrets. Tap or click here to protect yourself from doxing.

Economical prescription drugs

Q: Is it safe to buy prescriptions online? I am worried that online pills are not produced the right way.

A: As you may know, I live in Arizona. For many folks around here, hopping the border to Mexico to refill on generic pharmaceuticals is a matter of routine. Not everyone has the benefit of a nearby international border, nor does everyone feel comfortable waltzing into a dubious-looking farmacía.

Still, cheap alternatives are out there, and the internet provides many safe and legitimate ways to save on your prescriptions, such as GoodRX. Each service or app has its own specialty, and you’ll benefit from realistic expectations. Tap or click here for three little-known ways to save money on prescriptions.

Gaming for elders

Q: I’m 58. I used to love games like Doom. I tried Fortnite and it’s confusing. Are there any good games for us old folks?

A: Many critics deride video and computer games as violent, abusive garbage – and in many cases, I tend to agree. Other games may appeal to mature audiences (at least in spirit) but prove too complicated to enjoy.

That’s why puzzles, trivia, and timeless board games like Backgammon can be great; they keep minds sharp, and they often encourage interaction with real-life players around the globe. Systems like Wii claim to get sedentary users back into shape, and programs like Flight Simulator Xtreme are both thrilling and instructive. Tap or click here for the best games for people over 55.

Audit Amazon purchases

Q: My wife spends too much money on Amazon. She uses multiple credit cards to hide her purchases. Can I get a total of all her orders?

A: Before I go into the technical details, I urge you to stage an intervention because what you’re describing sounds like addiction, and there may be more at stake than an outstanding credit card debt. Okay, that said: if you share an Amazon account and have full access, you can review every purchase anyone has ever made.

This will be trickier if she has her own account, but Amazon makes it very easy to revisit your complete transaction history. This way, you can tally up exactly how much was spent (and on what) and you will have hard evidence to present if you decide to intervene. Tap or click here to download your entire Amazon purchase history.

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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