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Westlake Legal Group > Kim Komando

Best smart watch, 5G fears, data breach action plans, and more: Tech Q&A

Westlake Legal Group 565770-data-breach-hack Best smart watch, 5G fears, data breach action plans, and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article 04ed3499-8744-5442-8af5-f01e32f6c071

5G Health Concerns

Q: I hear that 5G causes brain cancer. Is this true? My Doctor told me that it could.

A: I’m not sure what your Doctor is reading, but from what I have seen, 5G does not appear to cause cancer. The FCC doesn’t seem to be concerned about its impact on the brain, and no one expects tumors to result from using 5G. This should be good news, considering the inevitable transition to 5G networks; within a few years, we’ll be upgrading our phones and other devices to receive a decent signal. At the same time, there are phone-related health concerns you should be aware of, which make take you by surprise. Tap or click here to see the full FCC report on 5G.

List of Data Breaches

Q: I am losing track of all the data breaches. Is there one list that I can see them? I want to make sure my personal data wasn’t part of any breach.

A: A major breach doesn’t grab headlines as it used to, which is bad news for regular consumers who want to respond as quickly as possible. For example, Toyota owners may not have any idea that 3.1 million accounts were accessed, and that the company has no idea what sales data was stolen. In other words, if you’ve owned a Toyota in recent years, it’s possible that a lot of your driving and financial records are being sold on the Dark Web as we speak. Big companies like Facebook and Capital One should be able to avoid hackers but haven’t. Even FEMA, a government agency, has become a victim. Each case requires a different kind of damage control. Tap or click here for a list of this year’s security breaches.

Facebook Alternative

Q: I would like to find a safer Facebook type of site. Do any social networks exist that do not have any advertising and tracking?

A: Facebook has been the reigning champion of social media sites since its inception, but that says more about the weaknesses of social media than the virtues of Facebook. With unpredictable mires like SnapChat and 4chan, Facebook has managed to look comparatively legitimate. But with all the data breaches and shifty behavior in recent years, there’s never been a better time to find an alternative, especially with the election approaching and all the stress that will cause. If you’re interested in gadgets, I have to recommend my very own social media site, which has just been launched: Komando Community is a safe and positive place to chat with like-minded people about consumer tech. We’re having a blast, and I think you will, too.

Tap or click here to join the Komando Community.

Expand Netflix

Q: I can’t seem to find anything to watch on Netflix. Am I doing something wrong? Are there settings I can change, so I see things that interest me?

A: The streaming phenomenon that Netflix helped create is now crowded with copycats, including the soon-to-be-rival Disney Plus. Netflix is struggling to stay competitive, despite a host of original series and multiple Academy Awards for its theatrical films. Part of the problem: subscribers can’t always find the content they’re interested in. I wouldn’t suggest you give up on Netflix just yet; if you’re familiar with the service and are already enrolled, there are a few simple hacks that will help you greatly enhance your experience and discover series and films you never knew existed. Tap or click here for four secret Netflix hacks that will help you find stuff worth watching.

Smartwatch Selection

Q: What’s the best smartwatch? Everyone raves about the Apple Watch. What about Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin’s watch?

A: One of the most exciting smartwatch developments of the past couple of years is the Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch. It looks beautiful, it’s water-resistant, you can charge it without a cord, and you can speak directly into the watch face, like in the Dick Tracy comics. Pretty nifty, eh? The drawback is that it’s not yet available (probably September), and it’s far pricier than its competitors. The bottom line: each watch has different benefits and drawbacks, and each surviving company has earned its place in the market, often for distinct reasons. You should probably see my lineup of different watches, but make sure to read down to the bottom, because the Ticwatch Pro is a nifty dark horse. Tap or click here to compare smartwatches.

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.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

Westlake Legal Group 24744fb6-565770-data-breach-hack Best smart watch, 5G fears, data breach action plans, and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article 04ed3499-8744-5442-8af5-f01e32f6c071   Westlake Legal Group 24744fb6-565770-data-breach-hack Best smart watch, 5G fears, data breach action plans, and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article 04ed3499-8744-5442-8af5-f01e32f6c071

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Phone trackers, search deletion, checking strange links, and more: Tech Q&A

Find Hidden Phone Trackers

Q: My ex is a total geek who is completely obsessed with me. I think he put a tracker or something on my phone. How can I tell for sure?

A: The street term for this is “stalkerware,” and it’s more common than ever partly because the technology is so easy to obtain. Software is installed in your phone that tracks and reports back every single thing you do on your phone and where you go. A simple way to check whether this software has infiltrated your device is through data usage: this kind of program requires data to report back to whoever is behind it continuously. If your data usage has mysteriously skyrocketed, you may be onto something. Tap or click here for more ways to see if stalkerware is on your phone.

End Robocalls

Q: I am so tired of robocalls. Is there anything I can do to make them stop? They are driving me crazy!

A: Many robocalls originate overseas. Robocalls may come from legitimate organizations, but they’re frequently scams or phishing schemes. Whatever you do, don’t interact with a robocall, because they often have special software that will record your voice and use it for identity theft. Your best tactic is just to block the number if you can. This is a good technique to learn because it’s easy and can prove useful in many different situations, including friends and exes you want to keep at arm’s length. In the past, people have changed their number to avoid unwanted calls, but this is becoming a rare last resort. Tap or click here for best ways to block unwanted calls.

Smart TV Hacking Risks

Q: I don’t want Netflix. Are there any other reasons to connect my new smart TV to the internet? What about hacking risks?

A: This question was posted on my new Komando Community, a safe place to ask any tech question and get expert help. Tap or click here to join now. To answer your question, like your phone and tablet, smart TVs let you add apps that give you access to video streaming services such as Netflix. You can also use your smart TV to get regular weather reports, stream live shows like mine, and even browse the web. That said, smart TVs are vulnerable to hacking, identity theft, and the selling of your data to Big Tech. If you are going to connect your TV to the internet, make sure your router is up to date, password-protected, and you run regular scans for malware and viruses. Tap or click here to read more about smart TVs spying on you.

Delete Dubious Searches

Q: I searched for things on Google that I shouldn’t have using our family computer. How can I erase those searches for good? I don’t want my kids to see that.

A: There are many reasons you might want to keep your searches private, especially just before birthdays or gift-giving holidays. You might also be sick of certain targeted advertising, which is primarily based on your search history and the cookies it attracts. Presuming you used Google, there are several ways to hide your searches, starting with deletion. Deleting your whole history might raise suspicion since familiar websites will suddenly not be recognized. Luckily, Google now enables you to eliminate specific searches, so you don’t have to remove everything. Tap or click here for seven things you didn’t know Google searches could do until now.

Vet Links

Q: Is there a way to see if a link is legitimate before you click it? I’d hate to get malware from just clicking the wrong thing!

A: Curiosity often gets the best of us, but remember: if you’re not 100 percent sure where a link leads, DO NOT CLICK. I can’t stress this enough. Entire companies have been frozen or held hostage by malware all because one worker got careless with a credible-looking hyper-link. It’s one thing to put your computer at risk, but crippling a network could lead to lost money, lawsuits, and even tangible danger. Several websites can check those links for you; all you have to do is copy and paste the URL (be careful doing this), and you can find out whether it’s been cited before. There’s no excuse for clumsiness, especially now that the stakes are so high, and awareness so widespread. Tap or click here for four ways to check if a link is safe before you click it.

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.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

Westlake Legal Group 546410-mobile-phone-smartphone Phone trackers, search deletion, checking strange links, and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article 6aef90ca-eab9-5cf7-a831-6962043b03c6   Westlake Legal Group 546410-mobile-phone-smartphone Phone trackers, search deletion, checking strange links, and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article 6aef90ca-eab9-5cf7-a831-6962043b03c6

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

10 incredibly useful things you didn’t know your iPhone could do

Remember when the iPhone was first released, 11 years ago? We gazed into its sleek, glass surface. We watched the screen adjust as we rotated the phone in our hands. In an instant, the Blackberry looked quaint and old-fashioned. The smartphone era had arrived, and there was no turning back.

The magic continues each year. Tap or click here for the inside scoop about what the next iPhone due in a month or so will have in features.

There are ways to tinker with your device’s appearance and functionality – most of them unknown to the average iPhone owner. For example, tap or click here for the steps on how to have your medical and emergency contact information show up on a locked screen. It’s a smart thing to do right now.

Check out these 10 awesome ways you can customize your iPhone to your liking. Not only will they help your iPhone look better, but it will work better, too.

1. Use the hidden touchpad

There’s a secret touchpad hiding out in your keyboard. Depending on your phone or tablet, there are a couple of ways to access it. On many newer iPhones, you need to press down on any key, and you will see the keyboard become blank. Now, you can move your finger around, and the cursor will move with you.

On some iPhones and iPads, you will need to hold down on the space bar to access this mode. It’s a great way to move around in a document, or simply place your cursor somewhere specific in an email, text or note.

2. Spice up your Home and Lock screens

If you don’t want your health and emergency information showing on your phone, try a new background. Change the appearance of your screen by going to the Settings menu, then tapping Wallpaper. Tap Choose a New Wallpaper and decide if you want to use a Dynamic, Still, or Live image. Then, select the location where you want to get the new wallpaper. You can get one from Apple’s gallery, your camera roll, or download one from a website.

Finally, if you don’t like the default settings for your specially chosen image, you can change that as well. For example, if it’s a photo from your camera roll, you can slide it around and pinch to zoom in and out to frame it the way you want it.

Now, tap Set Lock Screen if you only want to change the wallpaper of the Lock screen. Select Set Home Screen to change just the Home screen. Or, select Set Both to change both the Lock screen and the Home screen wallpaper.

3. Set up an alternate appearance for Face ID

If you have an iPhone that supports Face ID, then you probably enjoy the convenience of unlocking your device just by looking at it. But it’s annoying when Face ID doesn’t recognize you. This could happen for several reasons: you’re wearing readers, or a winter hat is hugging your face. With iOS 12, you can set your iPhone to recognize an alternate appearance.

Head to Settings >> Face ID & Passcode >> Set Up an Alternate Appearance and follow the instructions to teach your iPhone to recognize your different look. Just make sure you’re wearing your eccentric apparel during the setup process, so the phone recognizes that funny hat as well.

4. Customize your notifications

Every time a text, call, or email comes through, we receive a notification on our home screen. Unless we switch it off, many apps will send us updates as well. There are other ways to receive these notifications.

Choose your own notification style by going to Settings, then Notifications, and select the app you want to change notifications for. Select from different Alerts, Banner Style, Sounds, and more.

Now, if you want to make receiving an email sound like a horn honking, or receiving a text message sound like a dog barking, you can. You can use these alerts to differentiate the various notifications, so you can decide which ones deserve immediate attention.

RELATED: 5 phone alerts you’ll wish you knew about before now

5. Grab a cool new ringtone

Everyone tends to leave the default iPhone ringtone when they could be changing it to just about anything they could ever want. Many people stick to that ringtone out of habit, or because they believe changing it is more complicated than it is.

Really, all you have to do to change your ringtone is head into Settings, then choose Sounds. From there, choose Ringtone. Select the one that best fits your personality.

If you feel like the default options just aren’t cutting it, you can always head over to the iTunes Store to buy more ringtones later, whether you snag an Ariana Grande song or a Super Mario Bros. jingle.

RELATED: Create custom ringtones with this free program.

6. Make screen time easier on your eyes

Optometrists can’t stand backlit screens, and the effects of “blue light” have sparked a lot of discussion in the eye-care community. If you find yourself staring into that bright rectangle in the dark, you may want to rethink your phone use – and, at the very least, adjust the screen, so it’s more ocular-friendly.

You can use a feature similar to Dark Mode instead, which should make your phone quite a bit easier on the eyes. Go to Settings, then General, then Accessibility. Once there, select Display Accommodations, and then Invert Colors.

From here you have two options, Smart Invert or Classic Invert. Smart Invert Colors reverses the colors of the display, except for images, media, and some apps that use dark color styles. Classic Invert Colors reverses the colors of the display.

Now you have a special way to give your eyes a rest. (Note: Rumors have it that true Dark Mode will finally be available for iPhones when iOS 13 is released later this year.)

RELATED: How to prevent your iPhone from keeping you up at night

7. Give Siri a fresh accent

Here’s a fun way to change up your interactions with your Apple gadgets. We’re all familiar with the Siri assistant’s main voice, that of an American woman. You probably already knew you could change the gender, but you can also choose from a selection of different accents. The options are American, Australian, British, Irish, and South African.

Go to Settings >> Siri & Search >> Siri Voice to check out the different sounds and choose a new accent.

8. Light up the night

Not interested in plain old notifications when it comes to texting? You can forgo sounds and badges entirely and opt for a flashing light that’ll go off instead (or even combine them all if you prefer).

Open Settings >> General >> Accessibility >> Hearing. From there, select the LED Flash for Alerts slider to on/green. Next time you get a notification, you’ll get a flashing light greeting you.

YOU’LL ALSO LIKE: 5 secret iPad tricks you should try.

9. Set photos for incoming calls

True, you can change the names of callers when they ring your phone, but you can also change the image of the caller. You can set a full-screen photo of the person you’re getting a call from. When Mom calls, you’ll see a picture of her. If you’re feeling cheeky, you can add ridiculous photos: a call from your friend could bring up the image of Chewbacca.

Just tap the Phone icon, then Contacts, and choose the person you want to assign a photo to. Tap Edit, then Add Photo. Now, the next time they call you, you’ll be greeted with a picture.

10. Set personalized ringtones

Just like you can set certain photos for different callers, you can also opt to set custom ringtones. You can set up something funky for your best friend, or a romantic love song for your significant other.

Tap the Phone icon >> Contacts. Then tap the person whose ringtone you’re looking to change. Tap Edit and then Ringtone and select the ringtone you want to hear for that person.

You can do this for everyone in your contacts list, so you know exactly who is calling just by the ringtone. Have fun hearing your phone erupt in a customized song!

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.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

Westlake Legal Group 530358-iphone-xs-xs-max-xr 10 incredibly useful things you didn't know your iPhone could do The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/technologies/iphone fox-news/tech/companies/apple fnc/tech fnc article aa5ae14a-9995-5ac1-8497-af5a0a6149b7   Westlake Legal Group 530358-iphone-xs-xs-max-xr 10 incredibly useful things you didn't know your iPhone could do The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/technologies/iphone fox-news/tech/companies/apple fnc/tech fnc article aa5ae14a-9995-5ac1-8497-af5a0a6149b7

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Apple credit card gotchas, best free email, private OS and more: Tech Q&A

Wi-Fi Mooches No More

Q: My neighbors are using my Wi-Fi, I just know it! How can I get proof that they are hopping online for free on my dime?

A: This is a pet peeve of mine, both for the mooches who want free internet, as well as for the owners of the router, who need to beef up their security. There are only a few reasons your neighbors can access your Wi-Fi: (1) you have no password protection, (2) you gave away your password, or (3) your neighbors have managed to hack into your network. Luckily, there is software you can use to detect unauthorized use of your signal – and it’s available for both iOS and Windows. Tap or click here to see who is stealing your internet.

Apple Credit Card Gotchas

Q: I heard Apple is coming out with its credit card. What are the gotchas? I love Apple, but not so trusting of big tech now in my wallet.

A: You are wise to be skeptical, and you should never dive into a new credit card without due diligence. The Apple card will function very differently from a regular credit card; for example, the physical card will have no imprinted numbers. Not surprisingly, it will work best with Apple Pay, Apple Wallet, and other Apple products. You will be able to use this card broadly, but you may have to adjust to its quirks. The APR isn’t terrible, especially if you have strong credit, and there are some benefits you might not expect. Just like the iPod, this kind of card may very well be the future of credit transactions, and Apple has been wise to team up with a financial leviathan, Goldman Sachs, to make the new technology possible. But there are still some caveats. Tap or click here to learn more about the new Apple credit card.

Drop Me a Line

Q: My sister is big on social media. I see that you interview tech movers and shakers on your TV show. How can I submit her as a possible guest?

A: As I have learned throughout my long and varied career, there is no harm in asking. And luckily, you can ask me anything! I keep a contact page on my website just for this reason, and I promise you, every single submission gets read. We are always on the lookout for prescient new stories to cover on my site and shows, and it’s very possible that your sister could pique our interest. No promises, of course. There are a lot of fascinating people out there, and we can only produce so many shows. But I would urge you (or her) to drop me a line anytime you like. Tap or click here to contact me.

Best Free Email Program

Q: I would like an email program (preferably free) that collects my mail from work, Google, and other places. Right now, I have to check mail at all these different sites, and it’s driving me bonkers.

A: From the moment the Firefox browser became available to the masses, Mozilla has been winning millions of fans. The “software community” takes pride in its open-source programs, and Firefox is versatile enough to work in almost any desktop environment. So it should come as a little surprise that Mozilla developers have invented an equally accessible email system: Mozilla Thunderbird. The software is free and easy to use, of course, but several innovations might strike your fancy, such as near-instantaneous saving of contact information. Linux fans will especially appreciate how universal Thunderbird can be – including aggregating your mail from other services. Tap or click here for the best free email program for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Alternative Operating System

Q: You mentioned that there is an operating system more secure than Windows. Where can I get it? What does it work on? Help me, oh great, Kim Komando!

A: If you’re accustomed to Windows, you might consider Zorin OS. This new operating system has won a lot of positive attention for its security, ease-of-use, and similarity to Windows – which makes the transition smooth. There are some drawbacks to Zorin: there is no “right-click” option, and the software may very well crash your computer if you’re not careful. But Zorin so closely mimics the Windows layout and workflow that someone might not immediately recognize that it’s something else. Your concern about security issues is a valid one, and Zorin is just one decent substitute that you might consider. Tap or click here for an OS alternative to Windows and Apple.

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.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

Westlake Legal Group computer-iStock Apple credit card gotchas, best free email, private OS and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article 76c1c4dc-1a60-5554-989b-6e183ccffe64   Westlake Legal Group computer-iStock Apple credit card gotchas, best free email, private OS and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article 76c1c4dc-1a60-5554-989b-6e183ccffe64

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Card skimmers, old laptop fixes, fingerprint scans, and more: Tech Q&A

Westlake Legal Group computer-iStock Card skimmers, old laptop fixes, fingerprint scans, and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article 48d4ac84-8c74-5220-9016-1d513d99ed3c

Beware Skimmers

Q. I keep hearing about skimmers at the gas pumps. What do they look like? How can I spot them?

A: There are ways to spot a typical skimmer, but sometimes they’re challenging to find. I show you examples of what these skimmers look like in the link below. You can also use your Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a smartphone, to scan a service station pump for weird strings of numbers. Skimmers are designed to avoid detection, but if you know what you’re looking for, you can often stay clear. If you find one, be a good citizen and report it the authorities. Tap or click here for pictures of skimmers and apps you can use to protect yourself from gas pump skimmers.

Carpool Apps

Q. I drive five kids home from practice after school. Is there an app to show me the best route to take?

A: First off, you must be a saint, driving five kids around – and I hope their families appreciate it. Carpooling is a smart, efficient, eco-smart alternative to individual commuting, but it does beg the question: how do you drop off multiple people in a streamlined way? If you don’t know an area well, or the order of drop-offs changes, you can get mighty confused figuring out the tightest navigation through your town. One app you’re looking for is Route4Me, which caters not only to carpoolers but to delivery drivers as well. But there are a few other apps that might also serve you well, one of which even works offline. Tap or click here for three apps that tell you the best route for multiple stops.

Getting Tech Help

Q. Is there a way that I can ask you a question but not on your national radio show? I’m too shy to be on a show like yours on hundreds of stations!

A: Many people get nervous, hearing their voices on the radio, and even I did, the first few times I hosted my show. But if you’re more interested in online communication, I have just unveiled a whole new platform: Komando Community that’s advertising-free. This focused alternative to social media allows you to talk with fellow technophiles about the joys and challenges of modern gadgetry. The content is a fresh mix of expert and workaday advice, from real people all over the world. Not only can you interact with like-minded folks; you can also answer your most challenging questions in a safe and supportive environment. Tap or click here to join the Komando Community.

Fingerprint Fail

Q. My iPhone fingerprint reader doesn’t always work. Is it me or did Apple make a design flaw?

A: Fingerprint readers are a great way to secure your iPhone, but they’re a real pain if they’re not reading anything. The truth is, there are a lot of reasons your phone may not respond to your fingerprint; sometimes a new case will interfere with the read, or the button is covered in an invisible film of grease or grime. Here’s an unusual hack, though: you can enroll the same finger twice, so the phone is twice as likely to recognize it. Tap or click here to make your Apple fingerprint reader work every time.

Revive Old Laptop

Q. My laptop is getting old. What can I do to breath new life into it? I cannot afford a new one.

A: You’ve probably heard your doctor tell you to eat healthy and get lots of exercise, right? Well, laptops are the same way. Actually, all gadgets are the same way. To keep them running smoothly, we have to take care of them, and certain preventative habits will keep your hard drive efficient and clutter-free. Some of them are relatively obvious, like deleting cumbersome files that you don’t use. But most people don’t think to delete excess cookies, or physically remove the accumulated dust from your various ports. With a little TLC, your laptop may survive several more years. Tap or click here for seven monthly maintenance tasks to keep your laptop healthy.

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.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

Westlake Legal Group computer-iStock Card skimmers, old laptop fixes, fingerprint scans, and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article 48d4ac84-8c74-5220-9016-1d513d99ed3c   Westlake Legal Group computer-iStock Card skimmers, old laptop fixes, fingerprint scans, and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article 48d4ac84-8c74-5220-9016-1d513d99ed3c

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Original ringtones, trouble-shooting bluetooth, saving water-damaged phones, and more: Tech Q&A

Make Ringtones

Q: Is it possible to make your own ringtone? I want to know it’s my phone ringing and not a co-worker’s phone. Annoying!

A: The short answer is yes, you can make a custom ringtone. This makes perfect sense, since the ringtone file is so small, and sound manipulation is straightforward in a digital setting. But most of us don’t customize our own; maybe it’s because many people don’t use ringtones, preferring to let the phone vibrate to announce an incoming call. Still, making your own ringtone is a really fun and creative idea, and you’re right about distinguishing your phone from all others. Tap or click here to create custom ringtones with a great and totally-free program.

Moving Videos

Q: I loved when you spoke to the little girl with the robotic arms on your TV show. I want to share that inspirational interview with my family.

A: I am so glad you enjoyed that episode. It was particularly special to my staff and me as well. I’m so pleased to be able to bring inspirational stories like that to light; to answer your question, you can find Tilly on my YouTube channel. Meanwhile, the best way to keep up with my TV appearances is to subscribe to this channel; you can even set alerts for when new videos are posted. Tilly is just one of many remarkable people we’ve had the chance to meet, and there’s a lot of exciting content on the horizon. Tap or click here to see the Tilly video and also subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Pair Bluetooth

Q: Sometimes my phone pairs but frequently not. How can I fix the Bluetooth, so it always works?
A: Bluetooth is definitely its own animal. Unlike Wi-Fi and cell phone data, Bluetooth has a comparatively weak signal, and its connectivity can be a little unpredictable. Don’t get me wrong, Bluetooth is very effective, and most compatible devices will work on the first try. But there are a lot of things that could go wrong: You may forget to activate Bluetooth on both devices, or you may not have updated to the latest software. Incredibly, something as simple as a garage door opener could interfere with your Bluetooth signal. To troubleshoot your Bluetooth problems, there are many helpful techniques. Tap or click here for 15 ways to fix Bluetooth pairing issues.

Revive Wet Phones

Q: I heard you say that rice isn’t the best to use after your phone gets wet. What is it then?

A: That’s right. Sticking your phone in a bag of rice has been the prevailing wisdom for years, and many people swear by this technique. But the rice trick is quickly becoming an old wive’s tale; it doesn’t work as well as, say, silica gel. No matter how you do it, drying out your phone can be a days-long process, and you may ultimately find yourself investing in a new one, anyway. The good news is that phones are becoming increasingly water-resistant, and the latest iPhone models, for example, boast the ability to be submerged in water for several minutes before risking serious damage. That doesn’t mean that they are invulnerable, only that your next phone is far less likely to need emergency drying, with rice or anything else. Tap or click here for my best advice on water-damaged phones.

Accelerate Windows

Q: My Windows PC is so slow. I cannot afford a new one. How can I speed the old grey mare up?

A: Windows-based computers have always been versatile, but they are also infamous for slowing down over time. Usually, this is due to cluttered files and forgotten background tasks that eat up your memory. You can probably dig into your hard drive and manually remove programs that you know you’ll never use. But you also run the risk of illuminating files that seem useless but are required for your computer to run. What you need is a separate program, preferably free, that can analyze your computer and recommend files and programs that are ripe for deletion. Luckily, it exists, and its name is UninstallView. And it doesn’t cost you anything. Tap or click here to learn more about UninstallView.

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.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

7 digital privacy tricks you’ll wish you knew before now

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We surround ourselves with devices. Our cars respond to us. Our smart TVs listen to us. Every camera in every tablet and laptop is a potential spying device. Even when we’re alone, miles from the nearest human, our phones are gateways to the universe, just waiting to share everything it knows.

To protect our privacy and stay safe from hackers, we have to remain vigilant. That’s why I recommend people use a VPN. If you’re not sure how they work, watch this quick YouTube tip on my channel.

There are many other tricks for keeping our personal data away from snoops and hackers. Most of them have to do with changing your default settings, which you should assume are not set in your favor. Other techniques might require a little more work, but you’ll probably find yourself grateful that you took the extra steps.

Look at each trick, and if you want more details, I have provided a link to the step-by-step instructions on my site.

1. Protect your Airdrop function

For Mac users, AirDrop is an incredibly convenient way to share large files with nearby devices. It’s so convenient that trolls can send you all kinds of unwanted files, filling your hard drive with junk – or worse. This is especially common in airports, malls or other crowded places where gadgets are being used in the same area at the same time.

To protect yourself, you’ll want to change the default AirDrop settings. You can restrict AirDrop access to people in your contacts. You can also turn it off altogether. You can even decline the files that people send you.

Tap or click here to learn exactly how to modify your AirDrop settings.

2. Remove yourself from Family Tree Now

The original purpose of Family Tree Now was to connect people to their distant relatives, thanks to comprehensive genealogical information. The site started raising eyebrows when people discovered their home addresses listed, along with directions for how to get there. Strangers may also lookup your telephone number and other personal details.

Most people leave a digital footprint. But Family Tree Now feels particularly invasive, and luckily, there’s something you can do about it: there’s a special Opt-Out Page, and if you follow the instructions, Family Tree Now should be able to process your request within 48 hours.

Tap or click here to learn how to precisely delete yourself from this scary site.

3. Wipe the computer in your car

Your car knows a great deal about you, and if your car connects to your phone, it may contain a treasure trove of contacts, preferences, and navigational data that you’ve never even thought about. This is a problem if you’re selling or trading in your vehicle; the smarter your car, the more likely it is that vulnerable information will fall into the wrong hands.

Some of this data should be obvious such as old apps, but others less so: You may have garage doors codes programmed into your vehicle, which could prove very valuable to a cyber-criminal with a penchant for burglary.

Tap or click here for five ways to clear your data from your car.

4.  Protect your privacy on Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a terrific site for keeping up with neighborhood news, including changes to services and an uptick in street crimes. It’s an easy way for neighbors to contact each other, make announcements, or just share useful information.

But Nextdoor isn’t very well monitored, and when arguments ensue – as often happens between neighbors – things can get heated, quickly. Because you literally live near the people you’re communicating with, a bad disagreement can get personal, and many users report bullying tactics. You may avoid Nextdoor for this very reason, but the best tactic is to make sure your street address is not listed. That will prevent people from quickly identifying where you are on the block and venting in person.

Tap or click here for more tips to protecting your privacy on Nextdoor.

5. Vet links before you click on them

Clicking on a link is almost as natural as breathing, which is one reason viruses and ransomware spread so quickly. A credible-looking link can cause a lot of problems for your computer; in fact, you can wreck an entire network, including large businesses, by following the wrong link.

If you receive a link and you’ve done everything you can to confirm it’s legit – including googling the sender, the web address and any other contextual information – you can also vet the link through services like ScanURL. This website will determine the owner of the link, whether it’s been reported and a final recommendation for visiting.

Tap or click here for other services that will help you determine the safety of a given link.

6. Wrap your car keys in aluminum foil

Like tinfoil hats, wrapping your car keys in tinfoil might sound like a conspiracy theory. In this case, it’s not; cyber-criminals often can remotely decrypt your key, which in turn enables them to break into your car. Think about it: no forced entry, no stolen purse, no broken glass, just a vanished car without any explanation.

Data thieves might also be able to intercept this data by idling outside your house while you sleep. How do you protect your wireless lock then? There are a few interesting ways, one of which involves a regular old microwave.

Tap or click here for other methods to protect your wireless car key.

7. Stop Alexa, Siri and Google Home from listening to you

This trick is a tough one because virtual assistants are designed to listen to your every word. Without hearing a “wake phrase,” they won’t even function the way they were intended to. So unless you want your Echo or Home to turn into a regular Bluetooth speaker system, your best bet is to keep them turned on, or just avoid the smart home speaker revolution altogether.

That said, you can stop all these devices from recording your voice. After all, developers end up compiling all those recordings and storing them for their own purposes, and you have every right to delete those files. The purpose of those recordings is pretty benign; developers claim that they want to help refine the software. But if you’re satisfied with how the gadgets operated when they came out of the box (as many of us are), you can delete those records by digging into your settings – and end the recordings for good.

Tap or click here for six ways to stop your devices from recording you.

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.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

Westlake Legal Group amazon-alexa-getty-images 7 digital privacy tricks you’ll wish you knew before now The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/topics/privacy fnc/tech fnc article 450e9d9e-f037-5c67-b7b6-8dffb6c6a55a   Westlake Legal Group amazon-alexa-getty-images 7 digital privacy tricks you’ll wish you knew before now The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/topics/privacy fnc/tech fnc article 450e9d9e-f037-5c67-b7b6-8dffb6c6a55a

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Doxing defenses, games for retirees, breaking up with Google, and more: Tech Q&A

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Google Breakup

Q: I hate that Google tracks me. Are there ways to have a Google-free online life?

A: There are, but you have to jump through a few hoops to get to nirvana. One way to protect your personal information while browsing online is to download Tor, which encrypts your every movement and grants you access to the Dark Web. That may be overkill, which is why you need to first try free and easy to use browsers that offer a privacy-focused alternative to Google. Tap or click here for alternatives to Google that don’t track you.

Stop Doxing

Q: My sister is the victim of doxing. It’s so upsetting. What can I do to make sure it does not happen to me?

A: I’m so sorry your sister had to go through that, and I hope the damage was minimal. This is the downside of our hyper-connected age: we leave a much bigger paper trail on the internet then we could possibly realize, and a motivated analyst can put those particles of information together and use them against us. This isn’t necessarily the tool of a seasoned cyber-criminal; much of this data is publicly available, and it just takes a little sleuthing to expose your most uncomfortable secrets. Tap or click here to protect yourself from doxing.

Economical Prescription Drugs

Q: Is it safe to buy prescriptions online? I am worried that online pills are not produced the right way.

A: As you may know, I live in Arizona. For many folks around here, hopping the border to Mexico to refill on generic pharmaceuticals is a matter of routine. Not everyone has the benefit of a nearby international border, nor does everyone feel comfortable waltzing into a dubious-looking farmacía. Still, cheap alternatives are out there, and the internet provides many safe and legitimate ways to save on your prescriptions, such as GoodRX. Each service or app has its own specialty, and you’ll benefit from realistic expectations. Tap or click here for three little-known ways to save money on prescriptions.

Gaming for Elders

Q: I’m 58. I used to love games like Doom. I tried Fortnite and it’s confusing. Are there any good games for us old folks?

A: Many critics deride video and computer games as violent, abusive garbage – and in many cases, I tend to agree. Other games may appeal to mature audiences (at least in spirit) but prove too complicated to enjoy. That’s why puzzles, trivia, and timeless board games like Backgammon can be great; they keep minds sharp, and they often encourage interaction with real-life players around the globe. Systems like Wii claim to get sedentary users back into shape, and programs like Flight Simulator Xtreme are both thrilling and instructive. Tap or click here for the best games for people over 55

Audit Amazon Purchases

Q: My wife spends too much money on Amazon. She uses multiple credit cards to hide her purchases. Can I get a total of all her orders?

A: Before I go into the technical details, I urge you to stage an intervention because what you’re describing sounds like addiction, and there may be more at stake than an outstanding credit card debt. Okay, that said: if you share an Amazon account and have full access, you can review every purchase anyone has ever made. This will be trickier if she has her own account, but Amazon makes it very easy to revisit your complete transaction history. This way, you can tally up exactly how much was spent (and on what) and you will have hard evidence to present if you decide to intervene. Tap or click here to download your entire Amazon purchase history.

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.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-f8c02a4a837f443293fbe4a891581e6d Doxing defenses, games for retirees, breaking up with Google, and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc c1074dbe-0184-52d5-a1d9-e2d628568ed5 article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-f8c02a4a837f443293fbe4a891581e6d Doxing defenses, games for retirees, breaking up with Google, and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc c1074dbe-0184-52d5-a1d9-e2d628568ed5 article

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7 Alexa skills you’ll use time and time again

Every few months, I take a hard look at Amazon Echo and catch up on the latest skills. If you’re not familiar with skills, these programs give Alexa new tricks. What’s interesting is that individuals produce many Alexa skills, and Amazon shares skill revenues with developers.

One developer, Nick Schwab, has published enough Alexa skills as a side hustle to buy himself the car of his dreams, a Tesla. About 250,000 Alexa owners use his ambient sleep skill each day. Watch a short interview I did with Nick as talks about what it takes to be an Alexa skills developer and make money at it.

It’s hard not to mention Alexa without also talking about privacy. Now, you have a way to wipe the slate clean every day. Just say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today.” You can find more information about how to use this feature in detail on my site.

Below are some of my favorite new skills, from the realms of work, domestic life, and entertainment.

1: Get flash briefings

Open the Alexa app, open the menu, and select Settings. Scroll down to find Flash Briefing. Select what content you want to include in your daily Flash Briefing. This is like a skill within a skill, and it lets you create your own front-page news.

At the “Alexa, give me my flash briefing” command, you can have her update you on what matters most – news headlines, sports, stock prices, Prime deal of the day, inspirational messages and thousands of others.

2: Donate to a great cause

It feels good to donate to a good cause, and now you can do so on a whim. By saying, “Alexa, donate $10 to the World Wildlife Fund,” this can be handled automatically.

Once you’ve set up Amazon Pay and given the authorization to send funds with your voice, this is a convenient way to donate money to an organization you care about. Echo keeps a list of organizations that are compatible with the service.

3: Find your misplaced phone

You’ve looked all over the house and can’t find your phone. Before you panic and start thinking you’ve lost it, ask Alexa.

You can ask Alexa to find your phone via the TrackR “Find My Phone” skill. Simply say, “Alexa, ask TrackR to ring my phone,” and your paired device will loudly sound off. From there, follow the ringtone or vibration to its location.

Perhaps the best thing about this skill is that it will make your phone ring even when it’s in silent or do-not-disturb mode.

4: Control your Roku

Roku owners can voice-control their streaming gadgets and Roku-powered TVs with Alexa. Remember, Google Assistant/Google Home already had this capability since last year, so this is a nice treat for Amazon Echo owners. Additionally, several Roku gadgets have their own built-in voice search and controls.

Naturally, Alexa can already control Fire TV streaming gadgets. Sorry, Netflix is still not supported.

You can open apps by saying, “Alexa, launch (name of the app) on Roku.” You can pause, rewind, play and stop your video by saying, “Alexa, (action) on Roku.” And of course, you can search for content by saying, “Alexa, show me (genre) on Roku.”

5: Unlock doors with Amazon Key

If you have an Amazon Key-compatible smart lock and Alexa-enabled devices, you can lock and unlock your door with a voice PIN. You can also check the status of your lock.

To get started, tap on “Enable Skill,” authenticate using Amazon username and password, then either tap on “Discover Devices” or say, “Alexa, discover new devices.” To enable “Unlock by Voice,”’ go to the Alexa mobile app and follow the directions.

When you allow “Unlock by Voice” in the Alexa app, you also must set a four-digit code that is required when unlocking your smart lock.

6: Create an intercom system

With this feature, you can set up a home intercom system with any Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show devices. The feature is called “Drop In” and it allows Alexa devices to communicate with each other.

Let’s say you’re downstairs and you want to let the kids know dinner is ready. Use your main Alexa downstairs to talk to your children upstairs through a compatible Echo device.

You can also Drop In on someone who lives around the corner or on the other side of the globe, as long as you both agree to the feature and enable the setting for each other’s Alexa devices.

7: Ask Alexa what she can do

Who knows Alexa’s full list of skills better than Alexa herself? This might sound a little meta, but you can actually ask Alexa to educate you about her capabilities, thanks to the Skill Finder feature.

Just say, “Alexa, tell Skill Finder to give me the skill of the day,” and you’ll receive a quick tutorial on tools you never knew existed.

Bonus: Voice e-commerce is right around the corner

Voice e-commerce is coming. I’m proud to say that our broadcast network is at the forefront. If you market online, you need to be in this space, too.

Try it and say, “Alexa, play The Kim Komando Show.” Alexa will not only play episodes for you, but you will have the option to subscribe, which you can also do using only your voice.

This is a smart speaker, after all, and there’s no better use for this kind of gadget than to play something worth listening to, my show about everything digital.

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.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Facebook cryptocurrency, life-saving smartphones and more: Tech Q&A

Smart TV Viruses

Q: Please help me solve a debate. I say my smart TV can get bit by malware and viruses. My buddy says I am a dope. Who’s right? A six-pack is riding on your answer!

A: Smart TVs have gotten flak since they were first released and for good reason. These devices have allegedly sent reports on personal viewing back to data companies, which means that the TV you watch … is watching you. But now there’s this: Smart TVs can contract malicious viruses. You win! Because a smart TV is really a great display connected to a computer, it’s not a surprise that it can get viruses. Samsung TV’s run their proprietary software, and some models have pre-loaded security software. Tap or click to learn how to check for viruses on smart TVs.

Kids and Social Media Woes

Q: Have you heard about an app called Yolo that teens are secretly using?

A: I have heard of Yolo, and like millions of parents, I am deeply concerned. Snapchat is already an uncomfortable app in the hands of teenagers, and Yolo connects to it and lets kids send each other comments and photos anonymously. While online privacy is important, this kind of faceless communication can lead to cyberbullying, predatory behavior, and other destructive activities that many adolescents aren’t equipped to handle. Although the developers insist that the app is harmless and provides a healthy community, I am skeptical, and you should be too. Tap or click to learn more about the anonymous app gaining popularity among teens.

Emergency Phone Settings

Q: Is there a setting on my parents’ phones that I can use so emergency responders can have access to their medical info? They’re getting older, and I’m worried.

A: Many people with chronic health conditions wear medical bracelets, and that little sliver of metal could easily save someone’s life, even after the first responders arrive. Not surprisingly, a smartphone can do you one better: You can program your phone to display certain allergies and conditions without unlocking your screen. This ability doesn’t cost you anything, and many paramedics are trained to check phones for information the moment they arrive on the scene. For example, you may be taking beta blockers, or you’re hyper-sensitive to latex, or you have a seizure disorder. Tap or click to activate medical information on the locked screen.

Bitcoin for Facebook?

Q: I heard that Facebook is getting into the cryptocurrency businesses? What does that mean?

A: If you know anything about cryptocurrency, you probably think of Bitcoin, the monetary system that exists only online. Bitcoin has made a lot of headlines over the years, for its mere existence, but also for web-savvy people have made, and lost, a great deal of money. But like everything Facebook does, the new cryptocurrency called Libra will appeal to everyday people, not just maverick investors. Facebook has already become heavily involved in the populist banking business, thanks to its associations with Paypal and the ability to instantly send money through Messenger. This cryptocurrency was probably inevitable, and although I will not be personally investing a cent, I won’t blame anyone for being curious. Tap or click here to learn more about Facebook’s new digital currency.

Ask Me Discreetly

Q: I want to ask you digital stuff questions, but I don’t want to look like a fool on your radio show. Can you still help me?

A: You’ve probably heard the phrase, “There are no dumb questions.” But that’s not very reassuring when your question is heard on national radio with millions listening and then, more watching the television show. That’s understandable, which is why, when you submit a question, we can always protect your identity. Not every question makes it onto the air; I may answer it in this column or forward it to my editorial team for a story. Just remember this: For every question you have, there are probably hundreds of others who have wondered the very same thing. Also, I personally read every single email you send. Tap or click to ask me a question.

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.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-daad842cc01042edb256c8b2551bb6f4 Facebook cryptocurrency, life-saving smartphones and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/technologies/smartphones fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fnc/tech fnc article 3ea3dc3d-bb1c-509c-a4b5-99fdeb590d67   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-daad842cc01042edb256c8b2551bb6f4 Facebook cryptocurrency, life-saving smartphones and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/technologies/smartphones fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fnc/tech fnc article 3ea3dc3d-bb1c-509c-a4b5-99fdeb590d67

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