KIM KOMANDO

Genius tech life hacks no one tells you — until now

Aug 7, 2023, 4:05 AM

people gather around a laptop...

(Unsplash Photo)

(Unsplash Photo)

You know you have to reset your phone when you sell or get rid of it, but what about your printer?

No joke, your home office powerhouse stores more than you realize and can be dangerous in the wrong hands. It’s easy to wipe it, though. Check out No. 4 here.

Then, there are the tech tips that make you feel like a real power user. Here’s a Google Drive trick I use almost every workday.

Don’t stop there. It’s time to get tech-smarter and make life easier. Join 509K people who get tech smarts for free in their inbox.

You’re giving away too much for grocery deals

Each swipe of your loyalty card, keypad entry of your phone number or submission of your email address tells the store everything you bought, when you bought it, in what quantity and at what price, along with your payment details.

And guess what? All that info goes to third parties they share the data with too. Try one of these methods instead:

  • Use your office phone number as your loyalty number. If the store needs an email address, give a disposable one.
  • Look for stores that don’t require loyalty programs for discounts, like Trader Joe’s, Walmart and Target.
  • Most grocery stores have a coupon section on their website where you can print, snip and hand in paper coupons.
  • Whatever you do, never give your Social Security number or driver’s license number.
  • Ask for the discount anyway. Cashiers usually have a code to charge the digital price without belonging to their loyalty program.
  • If all else fails, smile politely and ask the person behind you, “Hey, mind if I use your card?”

Quick tips like these are super popular in my daily Tech Hacks email newsletter. Sign up for free and try it out.

Smart news go-around

Have a friend who shares articles from Apple News or another aggregator? Sometimes, you can’t open them or get a paywall from Apple.

Here’s a workaround: Do a Google search for the title. You’ll almost always find it free to read on the original site.

Google pro tip: Search tricks to get what you want

Tech you can’t toss in the trash

There are certain tech items you can’t put in your recycle bin or trash can. Doing so is illegal in some places. Here are the proper ways to handle them:

  • Batteries, especially lithium-ion and nickel-cadmium types, should be taken to a hazardous waste collection center.
  • Your television is packed with glass, lead and potentially hazardous materials, and it’s not meant for the landfill.
  • Let’s not forget relics like those old glass thermometers. If you still have one, it likely contains mercury. Don’t toss it in the trash, and whatever you do, try not to break it.
    If you need to eliminate any of the above, search online for your city or town’s name plus the term “electronics disposal.” You can also check out this handy site.

Quick way to speed up your phone

You can have as many tabs open as you want on your Safari browser or Google Chrome. Chances are, you have hundreds open. It’s easy to clear them out, and you really should every now and then.

  • On iPhone: Open Safari, then press the two overlapping squares icon. When the pop-up appears, select Close All Tabs.
  • On Android: If you’re a Chrome user, just say, “Hey, Google, close all tabs.”

Gas tank trick

You pull into a gas station, and, whoops, the tank is on the other side. Here’s a little trick so you never mess it up again, even in a rental or if you borrow someone else’s car. Note: This doesn’t apply to every model, but most have it.

  • Look at your car’s fuel gauge on the dashboard. See the small gas pump symbol? Right next to it is a tiny arrow — it points to the side of your car where the gas tank is.

The tank is on the car’s right side if the arrow points right. If the arrow points left, the tank is on the left side. Voila!

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.

PODCAST PICK: Meteorite hunters’ big profits, Amazon recall helper & new emojis

Plus, Benjamin and Holly’s entire tech life is under attack — I give them my trusted advice. iOS 17 is coming this fall; here’s why it’s time to sell your older iPhones before they’re worth squat. Samsung’s new products and the “bougie broke” trend takes over TikTok.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player.

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.

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Genius tech life hacks no one tells you — until now