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 hidden cameras, photo editing software, Mac viruses and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Find hidden cameras
Q: I keep hearing about hidden cameras in Airbnb rentals. Is there a trick to spotting hidden spy cameras?
A: A secret camera hidden in your private quarters is a nightmare situation, especially when you’re on vacation, and you’re supposed to be relaxing. Reports have grown incrementally with each passing year, and the danger is quite real.
There is a lot to love about Airbnb, especially if you’re the kind of traveler who likes to feel like a local. I sympathize because when I traveled as a kid, my parents preferred to rent apartments rather than stay in hotels.
There is a price to all that authenticity; the same miniature cameras that make many of us feel safe can also be used for nefarious purposes, and any amateur host has the potential to be a peeping tom. So how do you track down a camera that is designed to be undetectable?
Q: Photoshop is so expensive. What else can I use that’s like it?
A: Photoshop is expensive, but there’s a reason for this. For decades, Adobe products have been the standard for designers and creative professionals.
Each program provides a universe of options, giving users unspeakable power over every project. Once you climb aboard the Adobe wagon, it’s tough to get off, since the programs are often integrated.
Still, the Adobe family has never been cheap, even if you subscribe to the monthly Creative Cloud service, and not everyone finds Adobe products intuitive or useful. Some of us want the tools without all the extra bells and whistles. Luckily, in the case of Photoshop, some alternatives might suit you better.
Get my free newsletters
Q: Do you have any free newsletters for the latest tech news and DIY tips? I’d love to get them!
A: I actually have many newsletters, because technology is a big field, and one newsletter could ever cover such a range of subjects. You can sign up for Tech News Today, which is a roundup of all the “big picture” stories; most people start with this one, so they get the broadest information possible.
But there are separate newsletters for Apple products, Android products, DIY Hacks and How-Tos, Small Business Tips, and – one of my favorites – a weekly Travel dispatch, which explains how tech can help you see the world. Most fans end up subscribing to more than one.
Apple Watch life-saving
Q: My husband has a high calcium score. Would an Apple Watch detect a heart attack?
A: I’m glad you’re thinking about how technology can help. About a decade ago, millions of people were investing in fitness trackers like Garmin and Fitbit, which were cutting-edge consumer tech at the time.
True to their name, fitness trackers collected data on your physical movements and analyzed it through an app on your phone.
Now, Apple Watch (and other brands of smartwatch) have advanced the functionality of a fitness watch, and these devices have been credited with saving lives. The EKG monitor and “fall” alerts are helping people through emergencies, and those are just a couple of their many cool features. The Apple Watch will not detect a heart attack.
Q: I have a Mac. Do they get viruses like Windows PCs?
A: No matter what Mac-addicts may tell you, your computer is quite vulnerable to the right malware, ransomware, or any other type of invasive program, and believe me, this is not a lesson you want to learn the hard way.
It’s true that viruses can infect Windows systems more easily, but assuming that your Apple network is invincible is a significant mistake. So you’re wise to ask about this particular kind of security risk, because many people may not even realize that antivirus software exists, and I strongly suggest investing in it as soon as you can.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call her 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.