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Kim's column

Zoombombers, coronavirus hype, car insurance refunds and more: Tech Q&A

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 securing Zoom chats, putting old iPads to good use, insuring cars in quarantine, and more.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me? Tap or click here to email me directly. I read every single email myself.

Coronavirus facts

Q: I think the news media is hyping COVID-19 for ratings. Cholera spread much faster in 2010. Why isn’t anyone talking about this fact?

A: Statistics are a funny thing, especially when you’re talking about a pandemic that encompasses the entire planet. You’re right – the cholera outbreak of 2010 hasn’t won much attention, even though the spread was quick and claimed several thousand lives. You’re also right that any contemporary event should be kept in perspective.

I found a fascinating, moving chart that shows coronavirus deaths over 100 days compared to other epidemics. We know this pandemic is spreading quickly, but to see these numbers in action is sobering. It doesn’t take long for coronavirus to overtake MERS, Cholera, Measles, Ebola, SARS, Swine Flu, and Meningitis.

Tap or click here to see how deadly coronavirus is compared to other epidemics.

Get Sirius

Q: I was listening to SiriusXM and heard your show. Is this the same show that I get on WLS 890AM?

A: First of all, thanks for listening. No matter where you find me, I hope you find the content helpful and relevant. But to answer your question, no, my SiriusXM show is not the same show you hear on WLS in Chicago and about 400 other radio stations throughout the country.

My SiriusXM program is called “Kim Komando Tech Insights,” where I focus less on regular consumer technology and more on business tech. As a successful entrepreneur who founded a multimillion-dollar company with no debt and no investors, I like to share my knowledge with business leaders and owners about best practices.

If this sounds like something that would interest you, the show airs five days a week on SiriusXM’s Business Channel #132. If you’re looking for more consumer tech info, you can catch my main show on your local radio station.

Tap or click here to find the frequency and schedule for my show in your area.

Zoom bombing

Q: I need to use Zoom for a meeting, but I am freaked out that some hacker is going to take over my system. What should I do?

A: Just as Zoom has become our default form of remote communication, “Zoom bombing” has joined our everyday vocabulary. If a stranger has ever jumped into your meeting – or started hurling offensive sound and imagery at you – you know how infuriating this practice can be. Zoom is easy because it only requires you to click a link, but that same ease invites pranksters and voyeurs to invade your digital space and wreak havoc.

To secure your privacy, make sure to establish the proper security settings. Meanwhile, avoid sharing links and special instructions over social media, and only send them to confirmed email accounts. Also, remember that in large groups, you may not even notice that an intruder is there.

Tap or click here to learn how to stop trolls and intruders from invading your Zoom, Skype and other video calls.

Quarantine premiums

Q: I’m in quarantine, so I haven’t driven my car at all. What does this mean to my car insurance?

A: The quarantine had some interesting side-effects: lower pollution, less street crime and fewer car accidents. We’ll have to wait for the quarantine to end to understand its impact on society fully, but one thing you can do right now is checking on refunded insurance premiums. After all, you shouldn’t have to pay full price if you aren’t leaving your driveway.

Not every insurance company is offering a refund or credit, but most of the big ones are, such as Geico, Allstate and Progressive. That said, you shouldn’t expect to be notified about this deal; you’ll have to be proactive and ask the refund yourself.

Tap or click here for seven auto insurance companies refunding or crediting premiums.

Reuse iPad

Q: Since I purchased a new iPad, I don’t use my old one anymore. Is it worth keeping around?

A: Somehow, Apple has improved the iPad’s design with each new generation, and the latest iPad Pro is a jaw-dropping device, especially with the May release of the “Magic Keyboard.” Even if you don’t use your old tablet on a routine basis, the device can still be useful in several ways. One of the most up-to-the-minute examples is remote conversation; FaceTime is one of the most powerful video tools, enabling users to connect with other Apple users anywhere on the planet, for free.

As long as your iPad is connected to Wi-Fi, you can take your video conference with you throughout your home. Zoom and Skype also work beautifully on an iPad, regardless of model or generation. There are many other applications as well, such as cooking aid and second monitor, that will serve you well in quarantine – or anytime.

Tap or click here for eight clever uses for an old iPad.

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.

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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