I’m a tech expert: 5 answers to solve your tech dilemmas
Jun 12, 2023, 4:15 AM
As a national radio host, I’ve heard all the tech questions over the years. “Is Facebook always listening to me?” They don’t need to — since they collect so much info about you.
“How do I know if someone is snooping on my computer?” Not all snoops realize they leave tech breadcrumbs. You can outsmart them.
Those questions come year after year, but I took on answering some new ones, too. Keep reading if you’re sick of long-winded recipe blogs, your printer is acting up, or you’re upgrading to a new phone any time soon.
1. Use your phone to make house chores easier
Question: “I can never hang up pictures straight. There’s got to be an app for that, right?”
There’s an app for just about everything! Just hanging one thing?
- On iPhone, open the Measure app, then tap Level on the bottom right. The level will appear on the screen. Cool.
- On an Android, open the Google app or your browser and search for “bubble level.” Use it like a normal level, placing it on a surface.
Hanging one picture is easy. But what if you have four pictures with two hooks on the back and want them hung exactly 5.5 inches apart?
- Use the app Hang-a-Pic. You choose how many pictures, hooks, and dimensions. The app tells you exactly where to place the nails on your phone, or you can print complete directions via email.
You can use your phone to help you hang a TV, too. Nice. What about cleaning the dusty screen? Here’s the best way to do it.
2. Talk to a human at Amazon about your order
Question: “I’m having problems with an Amazon order and don’t want to deal with chat support. Is it possible to talk to someone, anyone at Amazon?”
There’s bound to be the occasional issue with an order. Avoid the chatbots and essay-length exchanges with third-party sellers with this neat trick:
- While logged into your Amazon account, go to the Contact us page.
- Click a product from a past or open order.
- Choose your issue, then at the bottom, select I need more help.
- On the left, choose Request call now.
- Enter your phone number, and you’ll see an estimated time before you receive the call.
I’ve never waited more than three minutes for a phone call. Be sure to have the order number handy.
Amazon Prime is expensive. You should get all you can out of that monthly or annual charge.
3. Recipe sites drone on forever. Help!
Question: “I’m fed up with scrolling through so much stuff I don’t care about to get to a recipe on a website. Any tricks to get right to what I want?”
So annoying, right? You found a tasty-looking recipe online, but when you open the page, you need to scroll way down to get to the recipe. To skip the story and jump straight to the steps, there’s a fantastic app and website called Just The Recipe.
Paste that recipe’s URL into the blank field at justtherecipe.com, and it’ll give you the ingredients and steps you need. And if you use the app, you can save your favorite recipes to a personal cookbook.
Another terrific way to skip to the recipe: On a PC, hit Control+F and type “Print” to quickly find the recipe. On a Mac, it’s Command+F.
4. Wait, can someone hack my printer?
Question: “I heard printers can be hacked. Is this true? How do I know?”
You’ve installed antivirus software and use unique passwords of 21 characters for all your accounts. Way to go! But it’s easy to forget about this vulnerable office item.
Just like your computer, your printer is a goldmine for hackers. Printers often store copies of the docs that have been printed. Any cybercriminal could get copies of sensitive information, like your financial records.
Here are three signs your printer has been hacked:
- Your printer starts printing blank pages or a bunch of characters.
- You notice print jobs that you did not initiate.
- Your printer’s settings were changed without your knowledge.
Don’t panic! All you need to do is reset the printer to factory defaults:
- Unplug the printer and press and hold the printer’s Reset button. (It’s usually on the back or bottom of the printer.)
- While holding the Reset button, plug the printer back in, turn it on, and in about 20 seconds, lights will flash to indicate it’s done.
Fun fact: Your printer probably has an email address. Here’s how to find it.
5. There’s so much private stuff on my phone
Question: “I’m selling my phone after I upgrade to a new one. How do I know everything is wiped properly before someone else has it? Is a factory reset enough?”
Your phone contains sensitive data, including your credit card numbers, bank account details, passwords, and private pics. You don’t want that info falling into the wrong hands. Just hitting delete or doing a factory reset won’t cut it because advanced data recovery software that can still pry into deleted files.
To truly erase your phone, you need to do a factory reset and follow it up with a thorough data erase. This involves using specialized software that overwrites the phone’s storage with random data multiple times, making it almost impossible for anyone to retrieve what you had on the phone.
Go to iShredder for iOS, Android, Windows and macOS.
Keep your tech-know going
My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.
Plus, the FCC puts an end to scam texts. UFO sightings are rising because of Elon Musk’s satellites, a GPS tracker that sees if your skis are stolen and three free police scanner apps. And a money tip that saved me just over $456 in 5 minutes.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”
Sound like a tech pro, even if you’re not! Award-winning popular host Kim Komando is your secret weapon. Listen on 425+ radio stations or get the podcast. And join over 400,000 people who get her free 5-minute daily email newsletter.