Consumer Tech Update

Consumer Tech Update
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Honoring those who sacrificed everything - May 25, 2020

This Memorial Day, join me in taking a moment to show respect to those who embody the spirit of duty, honor and selflessness in the service of America.

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Why that COVID contact tracing text is a scam - May 22, 2020More >>

Don't be surprised to hear from coronavirus tracers who track the spread of the disease. But if you were one of the millions who got a text that you've been exposed to COVID-19, it was probably a scam. I'll tell you what tipped me off.

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Will DJI drones disappear from American skies? - May 21, 2020More >>

There are nearly 1.6 million drones registered in the U.S., according to FAA estimates, and DJI holds nearly two-thirds of the American market. Now this Chinese company's products could be pulled from shelves. Why now? Listen to find out.

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5 tips to look your best while video conferencing - May 20, 2020More >>

Your daily Zoom calls aren't quite the same as being on television, but you still want to look your best, right? Take a cue from broadcasters with these five tips for looking great on camera.

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Uber gives us an idea of the massive hit to the US economy - May 19, 2020More >>

A few months ago, Uber was on top of the ridesharing world. Fast forward to today and the demand has dried up — taking thousands of jobs along with it. The massive cuts at Uber give us a glimpse at what's happening to the U.S. economy as a whole.

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The pandemic and the fall of celebrity status - May 18, 2020More >>

The pandemic has brought innumerable changes. Among them, a shift in how much we really care about fame and celebrity. As our priorities shift, so too does what we care about. Has health finally overtaken wealth?

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The best games to play on Zoom this weekend - May 15, 2020More >>

Ah, another weekend ... at home. Fire up your video chat service of choice, gather a few friends and have a game night. Here are a few low-tech options to make your high-tech hangout more fun.

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Facebook moderators collect damages after suffering PTSD - May 14, 2020More >>

With all the horrible content that actually makes it onto Facebook, I've wondered what gets filtered out and who does the job. It's a team of moderators, and Facebook is paying out millions of dollars to compensate them for mental health issues developed on the job.

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Twitter's ridiculous PR ploy - May 13, 2020More >>

Social media platforms are hotbeds for fake news. What is Twitter's latest plan to battle false and dangerous info? A warning that leaves me asking ... Really? That's all you got?

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How working from home could land you in jail - May 12, 2020More >>

Remote work scams are nothing new. Conning people who are looking for work is a trick much older than the internet. But this one takes it to a whole new level. Here's what to watch for if you're using the web to find a new WFH gig.

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An open letter to Apple's CEO, Tim Cook - May 11, 2020More >>

Coronavirus has interrupted Apple's China supply chain, and now those jobs are moving to Vietnam. I have a better idea. Listen up, Tim Cook. I know a country that could really use the work.

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Need to know how to do or fix something? YouTube to the rescue - May 8, 2020More >>

Before coronavirus, finding an expert — or just someone handy — to do a difficult task for you was a no-brainer. What about now that inviting strangers isn't your home isn't an option? Do-it-yourselfers are turning, in droves, to YouTube.

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Dangerous coronavirus theories alarming doctors - May 7, 2020More >>

If you rely on social media alone to stay informed, I have some bad news: You're making a dangerous mistake. Medical professionals across the country are alarmed at how many people are sharing bogus theories that the COVID-19 pandemic is all hype. These ideas aren't just ridiculous — they're dangerous.

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Back to the office: The new normal - May 6, 2020More >>

Reopening America's businesses will be no small task. You can bet there are some big changes in store when your office opens its doors again. Here's my take on what's to come.

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Apple's iPad pandemic comeback - May 5, 2020More >>

In the 10 years it's been around, the iPad hasn't changed all that much. But if you haven't seen what Apple's tablet has to offer in a while, take note. With the right accessories, the iPad can function as a computer — one you can carry around a lot easier than a laptop.

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Top 4 coronavirus scams people are falling for - May 4, 2020More >>

You can only avoid scams if you know exactly what to look for. Scammers are using the coronavirus to create new versions of their old tricks. Don't fall for them.

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YouTube allows Chinese conspiracy videos on Patient Zero - May 1, 2020More >>

Rumors spread quickly, and conspiracy theories even faster. An American Army reservist is being terrorized following videos and social media posts claiming she's the one who brought the coronavirus to China.

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The most brazen COVID-19 blackmail scam yet - April 30, 2020More >>

I know, I know — another coronavirus scam. But this one is the most brazen yet. You won't believe what hackers are banking on scared people falling for. The worst part? It's working.

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Coronavirus and the collapse of the 'sharing economy' - April 29, 2020More >>

The "sharing economy" — think Airbnb, VRBO and rideshare companies like Uber — is reeling. March was brutal but just wait for April numbers. Will these businesses bounce back?

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How to spot and stop cyberthieves after your stimulus check - April 28, 2020More >>

Cybercriminals have their minds on one thing right now: Getting into your wallet. And they're working very hard to steal your $1,200 stimulus check. I'll tell you how to stop them in their tracks.

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How the new 6GHz Wi-Fi affects you - April 27, 2020More >>

The FCC just opened a brand new Wi-Fi band. Translation? More, better and faster Wi-Fi in our homes and offices. But don't get too excited just yet — you'll have to wait at least a few months to start using it.

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The prepper billionaires of Silicon Valley - April 24, 2020More >>

Think back to Y2K. Remember the people who stocked up with years of food, water and supplies? Those doomsday preppers have long been the object of ridicule, but now Silicon Valley billionaires are joining their ranks.

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Apple iPhone SE 2020 review - April 23, 2020More >>

Top-of-the-line smartphones can cost you more than the average mortgage payment. Apple's more affordable option goes on sale tomorrow, and that begs the question: Is the $400 SE worth the money? Here's what I think.

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How Netflix became what ABC, CBS and NBC always wanted to be - April 22, 2020More >>

An estimated 37% of the world's internet users use Netflix. Think about that number. The big television networks certainly are. Can anything compete with the streaming giant?

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COVID-19 changes America's shopping habits - perhaps forever - April 21, 2020More >>

We've seen the shopping tide shift in recent years. In 2019, online spending beat out traditional in-store retail for the first time. Now, as people are relegated to shopping for everything but essentials on the web, those numbers are growing at a staggering pace.

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2020_0420_Podcast - April 20, 2020More >>

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Major companies are hiring - here's how NOT to get the job - April 20, 2020More >>

Unemployment is skyrocketing, and major companies are desperate to hire qualified employees. Before you jump into action, I have a warning: Scammers are at the ready, waiting for job seekers to slip up. I'll tell you the safe way to find work.

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Amazon struggles as consumers buy more - April 17, 2020More >>

Look at Amazon's profits over the past 15 years, and the graph looks pretty close to exponential. From 2013 to 2019 alone, the company jumped from $89 billion in net revenue to $280 billion. Now, the huge demand — and all the money that brings — is a problem. Here's what Amazon is doing to try to keep up.

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Protect yourself from cybercrime targeting Netflix customers - April 16, 2020More >>

Hundreds of websites, all using the word Netflix, have popped up in the last two months. Their collective goal? To trick unwitting victims out of money and steal some data in the process. I’ll show you what to look for.

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Where Zoom went wrong and where you should go now - April 15, 2020More >>

Zoom has exploded in popularity over the last few weeks as meetings moved onto the web. But the sudden growth, and lacking security, has organizations from the Department of Education to the FBI saying no more.

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4 compelling reasons why 5G cannot spread or make coronavirus - April 14, 2020More >>

Maybe you've seen this conspiracy theory on social media or YouTube: 5G is causing or spreading the coronavrius. Don't fall for it. I've got four scientific facts to set your mind at ease.

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From Google and Apple: New tool to fight COVID-19 or invasion of your privacy - April 13, 2020More >>

Apple and Google are teaming up to develop technology that will alert you if you have come into contact with anyone infected with coronavirus. This "Contact Tracing" could be used by more than 230 million Americans who use an iPhone or Android smartphone. Is this a necessary tool or an invasion of privacy?

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Coronavirus and the comeback of the old-fashioned phone call - April 10, 2020More >>

Humans are social creatures, and we're all missing in-person connection. Texts and emails just don't cut it during this time of isolation. We're turning to our smartphones for, you guessed it, making actual calls.

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YouTube and the 5G coronavirus rumor - April 9, 2020More >>

YouTube is full of garbage. Sure, there are helpful videos, too, but there's no denying the trash you can find. The latest conspiracy theory spreading on the video site is getting lots of attention — and YouTube has had enough.

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Even major news outlets fooled by fake coronavirus posts - April 8, 2020More >>

Social media is loaded with videos of those who are sick, those who have lost loved ones and hopeless medical professionals. One in particular, a real heartbreaker, caught the attention of CBS Sunday News and Sen. Bernie Sanders. What they didn't realize? It's a fake.

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The astronomical increase in spam - April 7, 2020More >>

Statistics surround the coronavirus pandemic — from growing infection numbers to the time we're all spending online. Everything from streaming to cybercrime is through the roof, and spam is no exception. You won't believe just how much.

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Coronavirus conspiracy theories on social media - April 6, 2020More >>

In times of crisis, we're all searching for reliable information. My advice: Steer clear of, well, most of social media. Here are some of the bizarre conspiracy theories nuts are spouting off right now, from government power grabs to 5G's role in spreading the virus.

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Working from home? Avoid unsafe electrical setups - April 3, 2020More >>

At work, your office has all the outlets you could need. At home? Well, that's not the case for many of us. If you're working from home, don't miss this warning.

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What you need to know about 'Zoombombing' - April 2, 2020More >>

College classes, companies, churches and friend groups are turning to Zoom to stay in contact during pandemic. It makes connecting with others easy — but if you skip a few key steps, you're opening yourself and your meeting participants up for some serious online trolling.

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How to have a virtual dinner party and maintain social distance - April 1, 2020More >>

Cities are on lockdown and we have to keep our distance. Inviting friends over is out of the question. That doesn't mean a dinner party is off the table, though. Here's how I plan to host a virtual get-together this weekend. Join me!

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The epidemic of scams - March 31, 2020More >>

Across the world, people are getting sick at an alarming rate. That's not the only thing increasing. Scams are on the rise too. Phishing sites alone have increased 350%. Here are four scams you need to watch out for. Warn the people you love, too.

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Why rural Airbnbs are the superstar of vacation rentals - March 30, 2020More >>

Across the country, Americans are staying put. One-third of America is under lockdown, and the travel industry is quiet. There's one outlier: Rural Airbnbs. Why are these properties still attracting renters?

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Working from home: Best tech to get, part 2 - March 27, 2020More >>

If you've transitioned to working from home, you know the hurdles. It's harder to keep in touch with coworkers, you're probably feeling isolated and you don't have the same resources you have access to at the office. There's one tech upgrade that will make the transition easier, and it's worth it if you're home for the foreseeable future.

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Can you get coronavirus from Amazon and other deliveries? - March 26, 2020More >>

Let's cut to the chase: Delivered packages aren't sterile. You need to take some precautions if you're ordering from Amazon, Walmart or any other online shop. I'll tell you exactly what I'm doing to keep germs out of my house.

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Working from home? Turn off Alexa, Siri and your computer's camera - March 25, 2020More >>

It's no secret smart speakers are always listening. In fact, assistants like Alexa accidentally listen in nearly 20 times a day on average. If you're now working from home, there's a critical privacy step you need to take.

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Working from home - Best tech to get right now, part 1 - March 24, 2020More >>

Working from home, with any hope of productivity, starts with the right equipment. If your network isn't set up for success, you won't be either. Start with your router.

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Watch out for these coronavirus scams - March 23, 2020More >>

Fake news isn't all you need to worry about. Scammers and cybercriminals are using our collective fears against us. Think twice if you get any of these calls, and do not — under any circumstances — hand over your credit card info.

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Is it safe to order online and touch your mail? - March 20, 2020More >>

Can you get the coronavirus just from getting your mail or picking up a delivery? You can never be too careful. I'll tell you the steps I'm taking right now to minimize exposure.

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Social media once again fails America with fake news - March 19, 2020More >>

Real news can spread fast online. Fake news spreads even faster. There are so many hoaxes, rumors and flat out lies circulating right now. Don't fall for this one that went out to millions of people.

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What about the TV remote? - March 18, 2020More >>

Wash your hands, wipe down your phone, clean your keyboard. Check, check, check. But we're forgetting about arguably the dirtiest thing in our homes.

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Internet providers promise to keep you connected - even if you can't pay your bill - March 17, 2020More >>

Our reliance on the internet is stronger than ever as news of the coronavirus pandemic spreads. Internet service providers have stepped up to make sure no one loses their service during these trying times.

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Should you cancel your hotel, Airbnb or Vrbo reservations? - March 16, 2020More >>

There's a lot that's not known about the spread of the coronavirus right now, including how long the virus remains dangerous on household surfaces. That's why you should think twice about keeping those rental reservations.

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Why my staff and I are now working from home - March 13, 2020More >>

News is changing by the minute, and there's a lot of fear in the world right now. I've made the choice to send my staff home to work, for one very important reason. Whether or not you're in an office, there's a step you should take to protect yourself as the coronavirus spreads.

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You can't trust everything you hear - March 12, 2020More >>

Cybersecurity 101: Don't click links from an email sender you don't trust. Stop downloading attachments that seem fishy. Double check website URLs before you enter info. Here's a new one to add to the list: Think twice before you act on a phone call. Voice cloning is easier than you think to pull off, and it could cost you.

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Wash your hands - but what about your smartphone and keyboard? - March 11, 2020More >>

Wash, rinse, repeat. You can clean your hands to keep germs at bay, but what happens when you touch your electronics? You're dirty all over again. I'll tell you what to do for every keyboard and screen you use each day.

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Spotting fake COVID-19 cures and price gouging - March 10, 2020More >>

The internet is awash in so-called cures for coronavirus. Not so fast. There is no cure. I've got the scoop on what you really can trust online — and the proven ways to stay healthy as the virus spreads.

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COVID-19: Working from home and your home network - March 9, 2020More >>

Across the country, businesses are sending employees home to work and kids are staying home from school. Are you ready? Step one, don't panic. Step two, listen to this podcast to know exactly what you need to do to prepare your home's network.

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Getting your business ready for coronavirus - March 6, 2020More >>

Businesses across the world are closing up shop and sending employees home to get their jobs done. If you own or work for a small or medium-sized company, are you prepared for that scenario? I've got a few essentials you can use to make the transition easier.

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Murder for hire on the Dark Web - March 5, 2020More >>

The Dark Web is a scary place to be. There are some frightening things hiding in recesses of the internet, including hitmen ready to beat or kill someone for enough money. But these murder-for-hire sites aren't quite what they seem.

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What happens if you suddenly stop using Facebook? - March 4, 2020More >>

How much time do you spend scrolling through Facebook? Now, imagine life without it. Does it seem miserable, missing out on what your friends and family members are up to? Or does the very idea give you a sense of relief? Here's what happened when a group of people gave up Facebook for a month.

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How to get the most accurate map for tracking COVID-19 - March 3, 2020More >>

You can't turn on the TV, listen to the radio or get online without seeing coronavirus news. But what can you believe about COVID-19, and what are just rumors and false information? I have a free source you can trust for the most accurate, up to date info on the spreading virus.

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Tools to stop harassing phone calls - March 2, 2020More >>

It seems like spam and robocalls never stop on landline and mobile phones. There are a few simple ways you can quiet the noise — no downloads, apps or payment required.

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Facebook's ads promising to 'cure' COVID-19 (coronavirus) - February 28, 2020More >>

In uncertain times, we search for answers we can trust. Unfortunately, Facebook isn't the place to look if you want to protect yourself from the spreading coronavirus. Here's my advice on how to educate yourself about what lies ahead.

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The latest dangerous internet "challenge" - February 27, 2020More >>

There's always a new dumb challenge making its way across the internet. Choking down dry cinnamon? Check. Eating Tide Pods? Yep. You'll never believe the one making the rounds right now on TikTok. It's seriously dangerous.

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Hide your Amazon purchases and don't spoil the big gift surprise - February 26, 2020More >>

There's no denying Amazon Prime is ideal for gifting. You can find just about anything, and shipping is lightning fast. But what if you share an account with your spouse or another family member? Do you just cross your fingers and hope they won't log in and spoil a surprise? There's a better way!

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