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 secret cameras, hacking passwords, Facebook after death and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Q: I thought I heard you say that there is a company selling spy cameras built into tombstones. Do I need a hearing aid, or is that true?
A: You heard correctly. Nowadays, a dedicated spy can listen to conversations, and even capture footage, of the passersby in a graveyard. This realistic-looking headstone is just one of the many covert spy gadgets currently available from a particular government contractor.
Cameras are now so small and easy to conceal, and micro SD cards are so compact, that you can add a spying device to almost anything — including in your car keys. This is great news for law enforcement, which may need to document a confession secretly, but it might be a little unnerving to the rest of us since a myriad of devices is just as available to creeps. Tap or click here to see five hidden spy cams you won’t believe exist.
Posthumous social media
Q: What happens to our Facebook and Instagram accounts when we die? Who gets to control these accounts?
A: Social media uses a lot of intelligent algorithms, but it’s very common for platforms to outlive their uses, attracting “likes” and new posts from oblivious friends for years after the funeral. Not surprisingly, companies like Facebook and Instagram have come up with settings that are sensitive to your last requests.
So when the time comes, and you already had the wherewithal to make decisions about your online life, your social media accounts can be programmed to your liking. Tap or click here for post-death Facebook and Instagram settings you should take care of now.
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A: They’re free. Signing up for these alerts means you will be the first to know about major data breaches, widespread malware and popular phishing tactics, plus what to do about them. I have newsletters that appeal to different interests so you only receive the content that is most relevant to your personal technoverse.
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Q: I want access to my husband’s Facebook, Twitter and other online accounts. Can I grab all his passwords from a web browser? How?
A: I am going to assume that you have permission to use these accounts and are not just snooping on your husband. I’m also going to assume there is some legitimate reason he can’t just tell you his passwords, like he’s traveling off the grid, or he doesn’t remember where they are.
As it happens, you may be able to find his passwords through the web browser, depending on which one he uses. A password is often buried in the browser’s code, but if you know how to access that code, and what to look for, you may be able to find all his passwords in a jiffy. Tap or click here for the insider trick to getting someone’s passwords.
Q: I heard that Ring video cameras were getting hacked. How do I make sure that this cannot happen to me?
A: You’re right that Ring attracted criticism for hacked devices. To prevent these kinds of hacks from happening again, the company has created a new privacy dashboard and enhanced its two-factor authorization.
With these improvements, the vast majority of customers shouldn’t have a problem. But it’s an important lesson in how helpful tools can turn into destructive weapons in the wrong hands. If you already user Ring — or any similar camera — I highly recommend you update your device and software as soon as possible. Tap or click here for essential steps to lock down your Ring camera.
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.