Each week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products, and all things digital.
Sometimes, choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the best part of my job. This week, I received questions about clean installs, social media search histories, commandeered security cameras, and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me? I read every single one.
Speed up Windows PC
Q: My Windows PC is a tired old nasty dog. Is there any way I can start over? It used to run much better than it does now.
A: Sometimes, you need to pull out the big guns. You can delete files and stop background tasks, cleanse your hard drive of malware and install more memory, but if your computer is still dragging its knuckles, it may be time for a clean install.
This drastic maneuver usually works. The only catch is every file on your hard drive will be deleted. Luckily, with the advent of cloud storage and external drives, this process of backing up and restoring files has become a matter of routine.
Fight phone stalking
Q: My ex works as a computer tech. How can I check my phone for a keylogger? He seems to know a lot about my life, and it’s creepy.
A: I hope you are keeping your distance from this guy in every other aspect of your life. If you believe your ex is capable of spying on your phone, take immediate action. Sadly, keyloggers and other spyware systems are often difficult to detect because they are designed to hide.
A quick way to find out whether you’ve been hacked is to look for the telltale evidence, which has more to do with your phone’s behavior. Maybe your phone is frequently warm to the touch even when you haven’t used it. There could be messages on your phone that you have not sent. And there are even more clues if you know where to look.
Search history transgressions
Q: I looked up a few old flames on Facebook. How did my wife know that I was doing this? It was only out of curiosity, I swear!
A: I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. We wonder about old classmates, past coworkers, and former sweethearts who used to mean so much to us. Even if we have no intention of rekindling old relationships, the lure of social media and all its photos and information can prove irresistible.
In your case, I think you may have a trust issue you need to work out with your spouse. But if you need to delete your search history on both your browser and on social media, there are simple ways to do this.
Q: Zach King has 22 million followers and produces the most amazing videos on Instagram and TikTok. What tools does he use?
A: TikTok has exploded in popularity, and it’s no wonder — the platform has the video prowess of YouTube, the immediacy of Snapchat, and the concise artistry of Instagram, making it an ample playground for aspiring influencers. It’s easy to post to TikTok, but those 15 seconds of video are hard to do well.
Since you mention Zach King, you might as well hear advice straight from him, thanks to my exclusive video segment. Watch the master explain his social media success in his own words.
Stop surveillance hackers
Q: I have a security camera at my house. What steps do I need to take to be sure hackers can’t see in? I’m freaked out about that.
A: As the saying goes, you can look two ways through a window. In this case, the “window” is a video surveillance system designed to protect your house. Criminals don’t even have to be on the same side of the planet to break into your system and commandeer that equipment.
Although it may seem like a chore, remember what is at stake — a camera that literally peers into your most private affairs and can lead to any crime imaginable, from blackmail to data theft to home invasion.
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.
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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.