KIM KOMANDO

Smart tech life hacks Arizona workers should use to save time and stay safe

Sep 24, 2023, 6:30 AM | Updated: 7:21 am

(Jopwell Photo/via Pexels)...

(Jopwell Photo/via Pexels)

(Jopwell Photo/via Pexels)

I got a text from a number I felt I should have known not long ago, but it wasn’t saved in my phone. There’s a smart trick I used to find it. I’m sharing that and other tech problem-solvers below.

Unmask a mystery caller or texter

Instead of replying, “Who is this?” there’s a hack you’re going to use time and time again. TikTokker Liz Perez put it on her channel and it blew up.

If you get a text from an unknown number, mobile payment apps like Venmo, CashApp, Zelle or PayPal can help you put a name to that number. Copy and paste the number into the app and the mystery sender’s name might just be unveiled.

Now, this hack only works if you have an account with one of those mobile payment apps, and the sender must also use their real name and number in the app. But it’s better than shooting in the dark.

Pro tip: Be sure to disable your mobile payment app from sharing your name and phone number with other people. The steps vary per app. For example, in Venmo, open Settings, Friends and Social and toggle off Phone contacts.

Find your car, no matter where you are

Ever wandered around a parking lot searching for your car? Google Maps will help you find your parking spot easily — and automatically. Remember this next time you brave the mall.

On iPhone or Android:

  • Open the Google Maps app.
  • Tap the blue dot that shows your location.
  • Tap Save parking.

Google Maps saves your parking location until you remove it. Now, you just need to remember what you did with your keys.

Easy internet sleuth trick

You’ve come across a website that offers an incredible promise of a free trip to Hawaii. Aloha! All the site needs is your personal info and a credit card. Before taking the plunge, ensure you’re not getting screwed over.

A WHOIS lookup search checks a database that contains information about domain names and their registrants — so you can find out who owns the website and see if they have a real business address and contact information.

  • Head to a WHOIS lookup website. There are plenty of them on the web. I use who.is.
  • Plug the site’s URL into the search bar. You’ll see who owns the site and their contact information, including address and phone number.

Stop sharing your number with everyone

It’s so easy for your phone number to land on a marketing list, whether you bought something or simply made a call. There’s a way to stop this, and you really should.

The easiest is *67, which hides your landline or cell number. Just punch in star, 6 and 7, followed by the number you’re calling and that’s it. The caller will see “Private” or “Blocked.” The bummer is you have to do it for every call.

  • If you always want your number hidden, change this setting on your smartphone. On an iPhone, tap Settings > Phone > Show My Caller ID. Toggle it Off. On Android, the option is called Hide Number.
  • You can also ask your carrier to hide your number or use a burner app like Google Voice or Hushed. Here’s help to set that up.

And there you have it: Tech life hacks good enough to share.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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Smart tech life hacks Arizona workers should use to save time and stay safe