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Kim’s Q&A: Erase Siri recordings, new iPhone features, sign PDFs the easy way and more

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 new iOS 13 features, how to erase Siri recordings, PDF signatures and more.

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

Tap or click here to email me directly.

Find social media accounts

Q: When I interview someone for a position or meet someone for the first time, I like to see what they post on social media. You can tell a lot about a person this way! Is there a trick to finding a person’s social accounts?

A: Since the beginning, social media has been a double-edged sword: first and foremost, it’s a great way to share significant life events and professional information with friends and colleagues; however, it’s a minefield of potential gaffes and misunderstandings about your life.

The best place to start when you’re looking to find someone’s social media accounts is Facebook. There are tricks of the trade to track down someone’s account using their name or phone number. I’ve got a slew of information on my site. Tap or click here for 6 tricks to find people on social media.

Cool iOS 13 tricks

Q: I don’t see much difference in the new iOS 13 for my iPhone. Is this more Apple marketing hype, or am I missing the boat?

A: You always want to update to the latest operating system. Yes, it’s time-consuming, but you will thank yourself in the end — even if there are usually a few bugs to work out. The reason: each new version provides important security updates that help prevent malware, spyware and every other kind of ware. (Please don’t make the mistake of thinking Apple products are immune!).

Meanwhile, you may be grateful for the update in other ways. The new iOS comes with several new features, many of which are subtle enough to escape notice. If you know what you’re looking for – and how to use them – you may find yourself relying on these new tools again and again. Tap or click here for 9 new iOS 13 features you’ll use all the time.

My show podcast

Q: I like to listen to podcasts when driving and getting my steps in. Do you have any podcasts?

A: I recently saw an article about podcasts. The author argued our culture had reached “peak podcast.” It could be that the wave of new programs will start to recede, leaving only the best in its wake. But to answer your question, I have two weekly podcasts.

“Komando on Demand” is about 30 minutes of the weekly top tech headlines, along with interviews with people who are doing amazing things in the industry. Just search for Komando on Apple, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.

“The Kim Komando Show” is my weekly national three-hour radio show filled with news, tips and callers. It’s also available as a podcast, but you can only get it on my website. Tap or click here for The Kim Komando Show Podcast.

Delete Siri recordings

Q: I read on your site how to delete Alexa recordings, and thanks for that. Can I do the same with Siri?

A: Like Amazon before it, Apple has frustrated many of its customers with its practice of audio transcription — a method of keeping audio files of users’ commands and transcribing them for future use. Siri has not attracted as many ugly headlines as Alexa, but the scandal is impressively similar.

Most tech companies make the argument these recordings are used only to improve personal use, and that is likely true, but I wouldn’t blame anyone for being skeptical. In short, if you don’t like the idea of Apple archiving your data, there is a simple setting you can change. Tap or click here to disable auto review transcription on your iPhone.

Sign PDF docs

Q: I often need to sign PDF documents for my business. What’s the easiest way to sign a PDF file?

A: Get ready because I am about to save you a lot of time. We live in the era of “e-signatures,” and these days, there is very little reason for most people to bust out the ballpoint pens. I know many people who have signed very important documents (e.g., real estate forms) without looking at a single piece of paper, much less physically signing and scanning it.

We owe this luxury to Adobe Reader, the reigning champion of PDF documents. In the past, Reader has mostly done one thing: displayed PDFs. Now, with ever-advancing technology, you can add text, including your actual signature, to a digital page. You might prefer a physical copy for the most critical documents, such as deeds and wills, but a digital signature should suffice in most circumstances.

Tap or click here to watch a short video about how to sign PDFs quickly on your Mac or PC.

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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