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 to help find out who’s blocking you, how to check your iPad for malware, how to call anonymously and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Q: I think my ex blocked my number from his phone. He never answers my calls. Is there a way to know if someone blocked your number?
A: There is no technology that will tell you for sure about a blocked number. Instead, you’ll have to check for certain clues.
Does you call go directly to voicemail? Are you calls never answered? Do you receive an automated response, indicating “this caller isn’t available?” These are all strong signs your number has been permanently deflected. Tap or click here to know if someone blocked your number.
Apple malware check
Q: I tapped the wrong thing and I think my iPad is infected. How can I check my iPad for malware?
A: The biggest danger of owning Apple products is the false sense of security. Over the years, millions of Mac addicts have accepted the myth that their devices can’t contract malware. But your iPad is absolutely at risk.
The most obvious signal is an annoying pop-up ad that claims you have malware. Mysterious messages and unexpected activity in your accounts may also point to malware or a breached interface. You may be able to tackle this problem pretty easily, but you should act soon. Tap or click here to check your iPad for malware.
Q: I would like to call my competitors and learn more about their pricing. Is it possible to make a call anonymously?
A: You can block your number, and there are several different ways to do it. The easiest method is *69, which is a temporary solution, and you’ll have to enter these digits every time you dial a number. But it’s simple and free, and the phrase “Private Number” will show up on caller ID.
On an iPhone, you can actually switch off your number completely, depending on your carrier. Keep in mind many companies will be suspicious of any unlisted number, especially in this era of robocalls, when many businesses are bombarded with anonymous spam. Tap or click here to block your cell number from caller ID.
Streaming TV comparison
Q: There are so many streaming services now and I can’t keep them all straight. How does Netflix compare to Hulu and Disney and Amazon? Help!
A: Yes, there are. The arrival of Disney+ and Apple+ will add thousands of hours of digital entertainment to an already glutted market, and it’s hard to tell who will survive in the coming years.
Usually, new formats like this obey the “survival of the fittest” rule, but it’s still so hard to tell which streaming services are the “fittest.” I recommend checking out my handy chart, which illustrates the benefits and drawbacks of each platform and lays them out side-by-side.
You may still find yourself playing “streaming roulette,” but at least there won’t be any big surprises. Tap or click here for a streaming TV comparison chart.
Clean that phone
Q: My phone is gross. I heard you should use alcohol but then others say no. What’s the right way to clean your dirty phone?
A: You may be referring to those jugs of rubbing alcohol you find at the pharmacy. My advice is: no. What you need is a tech-ready cleaning solution, such as mobile screen wipes, which are specifically designed for phones.
Many users wouldn’t think to remove their phone cases and clear out the many ports, but if you want your phone to last, all of these components should be decontaminated on a regular basis. Cleaning products are very affordable and last for a long time.
As we start our descent into flu season, you’ll be grateful that you gave your gadget a little extra care. Tap or click here to learn how to give your phone a thorough cleaning.
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.