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 freeze credit, why Windows can be so slow, purchasing smart home appliances, and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Q: I am wondering if I can see everything that Google has tracked about me? Is that possible or do I need a court order?
A: You would think that a lawyer would be necessary. Google is a giant corporation, and they have been collecting ultra-specific data on their users for years. You may be surprised to learn that Google is very forthright about the information it collects.
Granted, the company doesn’t wear this transparency on its sleeve, but there’s a straightforward way to find out every fact Google has collected about your digital life (and your real life, for that matter).
Speed up Windows
Q: My computer runs so slow. How can I speed it up? I hate Windows!
A: On the bright side, Windows is easy to learn and used almost everywhere. The downside is that Windows is notorious for slowing down over time. Sometimes this is because of malware, and PCs are well known for being susceptible to contamination.
Other times, your computer is just full of excess junk — programs you don’t need but are still using precious system memory. All you may need to do is clean house.
Futuristic smart gadgets
Q: I want a smart home like the Jetsons. Are there any smart gadgets that work or is it all a bunch of hype?
A: You’ve posed the question no one wants to ask: is all “smart” technology created equal? The answer is a big, fat “no.”
All tech is a matter of taste, and as long as the gadget functions the way it should, every new invention should have its day. But there are three major reasons to invest in smart technology: it makes your life easier, it makes your life more fun, or it saves you money. If you’re looking for a “Jetsons” lifestyle, you’re probably seeking some high-quality, high-impact devices.
I have a few recommendations, of course. Tap or click here for 11 smart devices you never knew about before now.
Free credit freeze
Q: Is it worth it to freeze your credit so hackers can’t get your info? Seems like a hassle to me! Can’t hackers figure out a way around that too?
A: I think it’s safe to say that most people have never heard of a “credit freeze.” Even if they have heard of it, the phrase “credit freeze” probably sends literal chills down their spines.
What does that mean? Can you still apply for a credit card or a home loan while your credit is frozen? How long will it remain frozen?
A credit freeze is a widespread procedure, and it won’t affect your credit at all. A credit freeze is a great way to prevent damage to your financial life.
Print websites cleanly
Q: I hate printing pages off the web. So, I copy and paste the text in Word, clean it up, and then print. Is there an easier way?
A: I agree — going to a website and clicking “print” leads to some very ugly printouts. Many printed sites are incoherent, thanks to all the ads and extra information that most people don’t need.
Good news, you don’t have to waste a lot of time copying and pasting into a word processor, because you’ll be deleting images and bits of material till the cows come home. Luckily, there’s an easy solution.
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.