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 iPhone unlocking by law enforcement, Amazon targeted ads, cutting cellphone bills and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Law enforcement and your phone
Q: Is it true that the cops can force you to unlock your iPhone? This act seems like a violation of my rights.
A: Tech changes fast, and the judicial branch is struggling to keep up. This stalemate society often runs into: Most of us want to feel safe in public, and we want law enforcement to be as sophisticated as the cybercriminals and terrorists who exist among us.
At the same time, we don’t want any police officer rummaging through our personal data without probable cause.
In short, the police can’t necessarily force you to unlock your smartphone, but it’s important to learn your exact rights.
Turn off targeted Amazon ads
Q: I noticed the ads I get on my Amazon Fire are a little personal, which is embarrassing when the family is watching. Can I turn those ads off?
A: Amazon has become the dark horse of targeted advertising, and it can become uncomfortable. Unlike Google, which tracks searches and other data, Amazon is exclusively interested in your purchasing habits, which may or may not reflect the “real you.”
Just like Google, Amazon has a dense network of personalized settings, and you can manipulate almost any feature.
Some of these are parental controls and using your photos as screensavers. But one option may appeal to you in particular: the ability to turn off targeted advertising.
Make serious money with Google Ads
Q: I have Google Ads on my website. I heard you say I can increase the revenues by 30%. How do I do that!?!
A: Anybody can place a Google Ad and pay a pittance to reach thousands – or even millions – of people.
You can modify target demographics to reach a precise audience, or you can cast a wide net and hope your product appears in front of the right people.
The real pros can combine the Google Ad interface with thoughtful marketing, then target specific users and offer them special incentives.
Running Google Ads on a website to make money is both science and art, and there are many tricks to the trade.
Get more iPhone storage space
Q: I have run out of storage space on my iPhone. Now what?
A: Store enough apps, movies and photos, and you’re bound to run out of space. The easiest way to free up your storage is to remove media that you don’t use, such as movies you’ve downloaded but already watched, podcasts you’ve saved but have already listened to, plus audiobooks and other large-format files.
You’ll also want to save your photos and videos to your iCloud account. Then what? There are so many things you still want to keep because you cherish those apps and use them every day.
The time may have come to make some hard choices, but there may be alternative programs that are a little leaner.
Slash cell bills
Q: My cell phone bill is crazy high. How can I lower it?
A: Unlimited plans, often without contracts or hidden fees, have become an attractive option for people who are fed up. How do you find these plans?
There is at least one website that will help you figure out exactly the plan you’re looking for, based on your needs and interests (and budget).
At the same time, many similar sites use clever criteria to find you bargains you never knew existed.
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 or watch to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.