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Kim's column

Spy apps, internet speeds, secret scanners, 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 on spy apps, iOS’s secret scanner, how to check internet speeds and more. Do you have a question you’d like to ask me? Click here to email me directly.

Nosy apps

Q: I think someone put a spy program on my phone. Are there such programs that will secretly record and send my texts, pics, and phone calls to another person?

A: Originally, these apps were designed for concerned parents, but it’s extremely easy for them to fall into the wrong hands. Once you know the kinds of spy apps there are, you’ll have two important follow-up questions: How do you find out whether they’re already on your phone, and if they are, how do you remove a spy app before it’s too late? Click here for five smartphone apps that could be spying on you and how to remove them.

iOS’s secret scanner

Q: I heard that Apple put a free document scanner in iOS 11. Where is it?

A: How many times did we have to take a trip to Kinko’s just to turn a few pieces of paper into a PDF? Thanks to smartphones, that process has become far more efficient, and you can digitize a multipage document in seconds. In the past few years, scanning apps have become very popular. But iOS 11 is skipping the middleman and now includes a scanner. Click here for the hidden feature you’ll use over and over again.

Check internet speed

Q: There are so many places to check your internet connection speed. What’s the best site?

A: This is the plight of the Digital Age: There are so many services available on the internet for the same task, but most of them are junk. Testing the speed of your internet is a good policy, of course, partly because it’s so hard to estimate how quickly your service is working. (Waiting for a coveted website always feels slow.) There’s one service that stands out which will test how quickly you get a response from a test server.

Click here for the best online connection speed test.

Speed up your PC

Q: I have an older PC. I cannot afford a new one. What can I do to speed up my clunker?

A: Almost any computer, no matter what its make or model, will slow down over time. Few hard drives are designed to last more than a decade, and the more software you install, the more sluggish your operating system will become. You can boost your speed by removing useless files and cutting down on unnecessary background tasks. You might also want to double check your security; malware is always a hazard, and slow processing can be one of its side effects. Click here for 9 ways to make your PC run faster.

Need to make extra money

Q: A friend told me that I could make passive income online by not doing anything. I just need to sign up for the program and give them my bank account number. What do you think?

A: It sounds like you’re going to get scammed. If you want to earn money online, you need to work. Now, there are legitimate opportunities. You can work as a customer service agent or virtual assistant. The worst thing you can do is search for these jobs. There are too many scams to count. I’ve done the research for you. Click here for a list of legitimate online opportunities to earn cash.

What 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.

Ask me your digital question!

Navigating the digital world can be intimidating and sometimes downright daunting. Let me help! Reach out today to ask your digital question. You might even be on my show!

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