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 safe online banking and how secure it really is, how to “smarten up” your home with smart devices, new WPA3 upgrades and how they would affect your computer, eye-friendly screens for reading and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Secure Online Banking
Q: I need to access my bank account when traveling. How do I this the safe way?
A: Online banking is a real luxury, especially when you’re on the road. No one likes to check his or her balance at a service station’s ATM, and things get even more complicated when you’re overseas.
If you have a banking app on your phone, you are also vulnerable to digital thieves, who thrive on public Wi-Fi and easy-to-guess passwords.
If you’re in the habit of banking on the go, you might also consider securing a VPN to add an extra level of security.
However, there are three important lines of defense while you’re moving around.
Q: My router only has WPA2. Do I need to have WPA3?
A: Sounds like you know what you’re talking about. For the rest of our readers, WPA3 is an upgraded form of security.
As I’ve mentioned many times, both on this website and on my show, routers are the chink in your armor, and many hackers find their way into your computer by way of this particular piece of hardware.
The question is, do you really need to worry about the difference between WPA2 and WPA3?
Is this a necessary step, or are router companies splitting hairs so that they can sell more product?
Q: My eyes aren’t what they used to be. How can I enlarge the text on my phone and tablet?
A: As someone who is very sensitive to ocular issues, I remember seeing those stacks of large-print books in the public library.
These are a fantastic option for people who struggle to look at small print, but the selection is always smaller than more traditional books, and of course, you have to go to the library.
The great thing about a digital screen is how much can be customized; you can enlarge the text on almost any phone or tablet.
This doesn’t just include Word documents and email, but apps and searches, too.
Q: I love my Instant Pot. I Google recipes but is there a better way?
A: As you probably know, there are a million places on the internet to find recipes. I’m a fan of the “Tasty” videos (and the entire genre they spawned), which show a cooking tutorial in fast-motion.
But the Instant Pot is in a class all its own.
You probably discovered that part of the joy of owning an Instant Pot is that you can program the device in so many ways, instead of the two or three settings you find on traditional crockpots.
To maximize your use, the right recipes can showcase the device’s abilities.
“Smarting” Your Home
Q: Aside from smart locks and smart light bulbs, what else could I add to my house to make it “smart?”
A: When “smart homes” hit the mainstream, there were a few popular devices that took up the limelight. The virtual assistant was the most famous, thanks to the trailblazing Amazon Echo.
Then there were all the appliances, like smart bulbs and smart security doors. The public became so enamored with these early gadgets that many follow-up inventions got short shrift.
But you don’t have to fork over thousands of dollars to invest in smart technology; some devices are as small as egg crates, toothbrushes, and frying pans.
The funniest is a “smart commode,” which probably gets the imagination swirling, but you’d be amazed how helpful such devices can be.
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.