KIM KOMANDO

I’m a tech expert, and you need to make these changes before it’s too late

Mar 25, 2024, 4:05 AM

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(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

Sometimes in life, you just can’t go back. I’m thinking of all the folks I’ve talked to who lost crazy amounts of money to scammers pretending to be in love.

We can’t go back to our old devices, either — as much as I miss that hot pink Razr. On second thought, iPhone it is. The same goes for certain steps in our digital lives. Follow the steps below, then give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

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Create a digital will

Death is never fun to talk about, but it’s a reality. What you choose to do now can really help out your loved ones in the future.

One of the simplest ways to do this is to create a digital checklist. It’s not a legal document but rather a rundown of all your accounts, passwords, and online assets with instructions on how to find them. My Mom made one before she passed, and I can’t tell you how much time and stress it saved me during an incredibly emotional time.

Your list can be as formal or informal as you like. It could be an Excel spreadsheet or Word doc that includes websites, log-in details and anything else you want to leave behind. If you go this route, password-protect the file and leave the password in your will.

If you’re comfortable with it, I highly recommend you do this in a password manager. Most have the option to set up a contact who can access your logins when you pass. If you’re more comfortable with pen and paper, use a password notebook.

Here’s a checklist to get you started:

  • Email, social media, financial and cloud storage accounts
  • Online shopping credentials
  • Streaming services and other recurring charges
  • Loyalty programs, including travel rewards
  • Domain names and website hosting

Keep going: I have steps here to set up your Apple, Facebook and Google accounts for after you pass.

Control what Meta knows and shares

We know why those shoes we clicked on yesterday are now in our Facebook feed. That’s old news. But just how deep is Meta’s surveillance rabbit hole? And how much of our data comes from other companies? Consumer Reports looked at the Facebook archives of 709 volunteers to see how many companies were tracking data and sending it to Meta.

Their findings? A mind-boggling 186,892 businesses. On average, each volunteer had data sent to Zuck and Co. by 2,230 companies. Some participants had their details spilled by more than 7,000 organizations.

To see companies that have been sharing your information outside of Meta platforms:

  • Open Facebook on your computer and click your profile pic in the upper right.
  • Tap Settings & privacy > Settings > Accounts Center > Your information and permissions.
  • Click Your activity off Meta technologies, then Recent activity. Here, you can view recent connections between third-party businesses you’ve interacted with.
  • Next, you’ll get a list of interactions and have the choice to clear your activity and/or disconnect to prevent future sharing.

If you want more detailed information about your Facebook interactions, click Download your information, then Request a download.

Once your file is ready, you’ll have four days to download it.

Don’t lose the inbox you’ve had for years

Google deletes accounts that have been inactive for at least two years. The good news is all you need to do is sign in to save that old account you rarely use. Once you’re logged in, consider whether it makes sense to download everything associated with that account so you can retire it.

Here’s how:

  • Sign in to your Google account, then go to takeout.google.com.
  • Choose all the data you wish to export.
  • Hit Next step, then pick how you’d like to receive this information: A download link via email or added to a Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive or Box account.
  • Choose how often you’d like to receive this (once or every two months for a year) and the file type you’d like to receive (either .zip or .tgz). I’d go with a zip file.
  • Click Create export. You’ll get an email when the process is complete.

Not so bad, right?

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: Harvard professor says he’s found proof of alien life

Dr. Avi Loeb found tiny magnetic spheres in the Pacific Ocean, which he claims are extraterrestrial. Plus, a dating app for people with good credit, the Loan Depot breach and airplane mode myths.

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

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.

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I’m a tech expert, and you need to make these changes before it’s too late