From Queen Elizabeth’s passing to Will Smith’s iconic slap, 2022 was a year for the ages. We all went a little “goblin mode” this year — so much so that it was Oxford’s word of the year. Throughout it all, the Kim Komando team has churned out some of the web’s best insider cybersecurity strategies.
This year, we shed light on the biggest mistakes you’re making that destroy expensive gadgets. We also exposed smishing scams, invasive people search sites and the most significant car recalls you should know about.
That’s why we put together this yearly tech tip roundup. This guide will help you catch up on the top cyber tips of 2022, so you can improve your digital life next year. Scroll down for 10 ways to protect your data and cybersecurity online.
1. If you do this, you’re ruining your expensive phone, laptop, tablet and TV
This was one of our most popular tech tips of 2022. It makes sense: We all make little mistakes that put our devices in danger. Luckily, you can save your gadgets with good habits.
Here are some mistakes that can ruin tech gadgets:
- Always keeping your devices plugged in.
- Instead of doing a full charging cycle, you charge your laptop in little bursts.
- You buy cheap chargers and USB cables.
- You don’t take proper care of your phone.
- Your devices are dirty.
2. What to do if you get a verification code you didn’t request
Scammers are sending phishing texts left, right and center. This year, our content queen Allie constantly got login codes from Uber. She wasn’t even using Uber when she got these texts. They were part of a nasty phishing scam designed to steal information.
That’s not all. Sure, criminals impersonate trusted companies like Uber. But they also pretend to be UPS, your coworkers, or your bank. Fall for their tricks and your digital world is in danger.
That’s why we made this handy cybersecurity tip. Smishing scams aren’t going away anytime soon, so our guide will help you well into 2023.
3. How to check your laptop battery’s health
Have you ever run a check on your laptop’s battery? It’s worth doing. However, it can be hard to figure out if you’ve never tried before. Luckily, we made it simple with this how-to guide.
This tip could save you the money you’d otherwise spend on a new computer. If you missed out, read it now to keep your laptop working well.
4. Remove yourself from creepy people search sites
Anyone can look up your private data, including your:
- Full name.
- Current address.
- Former addresses.
- Phone number.
- Family members and more.
That’s why you should delete your info from as many people search sites as you possibly can. This year, we made it easy. We found the internet’s most popular people search websites of 2022. Each site has its own unique opt-out process, which makes opting out mind-bogglingly tricky if you don’t know where to look.
That’s why we started a series this year called Opt-Out Tuesday. Each week, we introduced you to a new people search site that exposed your private data for the world to see. In our guide, we compiled the opt-out steps into one easy article.
5. Free up space on your Android by updating a single app
Smartphone apps are sophisticated. Their high-tech features can be lots of fun. Unfortunately, they can also consume a ton of space on your phone.
Thankfully, your Android has a built-in tool that reveals the biggest resource eaters on your phone. Plus, it helps you remove them quickly.
6. How to check if your vehicle has an open recall
Over the past year, car manufacturers recalled over 6 million vehicles. Although some recalls fix minor annoyances, others could save your life. After all, driving a recalled car on the open road could be dangerous.
Fortunately, there are ways to discover if your car has been recalled. In this guide, we shared five essential steps to take — plus tips to prevent future danger.
For example, you can sign up for alerts with Carfax. You can do this with a free account, so don’t get suckered into paying for a new one. This way, you’ll get notifications whenever manufacturers blow the whistle on car issues.
7. Before you start holiday shopping, do this to hide your gift purchases
This is a tip you’ll want to save for future years. If you share your online accounts, your spouse or roommate can see your purchases. So if you’re buying a gift, you might accidentally spoil the surprise.
On Amazon, there are a few things you can do. You can archive your orders, stop Alexa from spilling the beans and more.
8. See everything Google knows about you with one search
This was one of our most popular privacy tips of the year. It’s packed with insider cybersecurity strategies you can use to see how much of your private data is compromised. Here’s what you have to do:
- Sign in to your personal Google account.
- Head to Google’s homepage and search for Google ad settings.
- Click on the first result that pops up. This will bring you to your personal ad personalization page.
It displays a long list of what Google thinks you are most interested in. Some of them can be entertaining, too.
9. True or false: Someone can see if you looked at their Facebook profile
So you want to do some snooping, but you’re afraid of being caught. Then, you type one of these phrases into the search bar:
- Can someone see if you look at their Facebook?
- If you search for someone on Facebook in 2022, will they know?
- Can you see who views your Facebook?
10. Never search for these terms on Google
Here’s another one of our most popular insider cybersecurity strategies of 2022. In this tip, we reveal the most popular search engine scams you’ll come across. You could be browsing for something completely random and stumble upon cybercriminals.