Consumer Tech Update

Consumer Tech Update
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Even major news outlets fooled by fake coronavirus posts - April 8, 2020

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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Apple's new over-the-ear headphones coming next month (for $400) - February 25, 2020More >>

Apple's AirPods took the world by storm in 2016. For years, it was hard to even get your hands on a pair. Now Apple is launching over-the-ear headphones for the first time — and if insiders are right, they'll be here very soon.

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The Ring doorbell problem - February 24, 2020More >>

Smart home tech is convenient, but when does that convenience outweigh security? The Ring video doorbell has hit the tipping point. You won't believe what info the Amazon-owned company is sharing with Facebook.

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Coronavirus is upending travel, helping on-demand video - February 21, 2020More >>

There are so many questions surrounding the coronavirus outbreak in China. Chief among them, how many people are infected and how many have died? Chinese officials are reporting infection numbers, but no one quite trusts that information. One thing is for sure: The stock market isn't the only thing taking a hit right now.

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Fed up with robocalls? Sue scammers for $3K a pop - February 20, 2020More >>

Check your call log. How many robocalls did you get this week? How many today? If you're fed up with the constant mobile harassment, there's an app you should know about. Robo Revenge lets you give scammers a taste of their own medicine.

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Tax time: Do it now but make sure your computer is protected from hackers - February 19, 2020More >>

Tax aren't due for a couple months, but you shouldn't wait. Identity thieves are already on the move. When you're ready to file, I've got two essential steps to make sure you do so safely.

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Reuniting a mother with her lost daughter - February 18, 2020More >>

Technology drives the way we communicate with the people we care about. Just think about the last time you texted an "I love you." But how does tech factor in when we've lost someone? Virtual reality is opening up new possibilities for how we remember a loved one who has passed away — and how we grieve.

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HQ Trivia: How scammers and cheaters killed the once popular fad - February 17, 2020More >>

Not much beats big prizes if you're looking to attract an audience online. Add in the thrill of competition, celebrity hosts and lots of water cooler talk, and you've got a winner. But HQ Trivia, the hit app that launched in 2017, just couldn't last. Here's what happened.

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How scammers are using the coronavirus to steal and defraud - February 14, 2020More >>

Where there's fear, scammers are quick to follow. The coronavirus has people across the world scared, and criminals are taking advantage. If you're seeing texts, emails and social media posts claiming there's new information you need to know, think twice before you click.

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Macs now more attacked than Windows PCs - February 13, 2020More >>

If you're a Mac user, you probably believe you're less at risk online than Windows users. Hate to break it to you, but that "common knowledge" just isn't true anymore. If you have a Mac, don't miss this — you may be more exposed to hackers and cybercriminals than you realize.

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More confirmation social media harms teens - February 12, 2020More >>

I've been warning for years that social media is truly harmful to kids and teens. Yes, popular platforms are full of predators that should have been banned for good long ago. But there's another danger you need to know about if you have a teen at home. Not sure how to talk to your kids about technology? Check out my tech contract built to help you and your family establish rules around tech.

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Even though you're not a terrorist, homeland security is tracking you - February 10, 2020More >>

It's no secret apps profit from your data. You sign up for an account and details like your usage and location are compiled and sold. You know greedy advertisers are snapping up that info, but there's another big buyer: the U.S. government.

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Why peer-to-peer car renting is one of the worst ideas - ever - February 10, 2020More >>

Sharing is caring, right? Well, not always. Peer-to-peer car rental apps allow you to rent your car to a perfect stranger or the other way and around. And honestly, that's a terrible idea. I'll tell you why.

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How old should your child be to own a smartphone? - February 7, 2020More >>

There are countless decisions to make as a parent, and today's technology adds even more choices. One of the biggest? When your child should get his or her first smartphone. The choice is up to you, but I have some recommendations for kids under 10.

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The long, slow, torturous death of BlackBerry - February 6, 2020More >>

We've all got iPhones and Androids now, but before that, the BlackBerry reigned supreme — at least in some circles. Now the iconic brand is out of the phone game, again. Is it gone for good this time?

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How NOT to run an election - February 5, 2020More >>

When it comes to software development and deployment, rushing is never the right answer. Just ask the company that created the tech behind the embarrassing Iowa caucus. What's the solution? I have a novel idea.

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How the coronavirus infected the internet - February 4, 2020More >>

Where there's fear and uncertainty, there are criminals waiting to pounce. If you're glued to your phone or computer reading about the coronavirus outbreak, be wary of news coming from anyone you don't know. I'll tell you why certain files could spell disaster for your data.

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Finally — Congress launches investigations on dating apps - February 3, 2020More >>

Online dating is a minefield. I'm not talking about awkward hellos, mixed signals or ghosting. I'm talking sexual predators that lurk in online dating and "hookup" apps, looking for their next victim. Now the government is stepping in to find out how protected users really are.

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The virus and the beer - January 31, 2020More >>

The coronavirus has people scared — there's no doubt about that. Naturally, people are turning to Google for answers. And you'll be shocked at just how much one search term is blowing up.

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We can no longer believe what we say - January 30, 2020More >>

Are you worried about your privacy? Do you want to protect your personal information? If you're like most Americans, you answered yes. But saying it and meaning it are two different things.

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Coronavirus: Fake news spreading quickly - January 29, 2020More >>

About 20% of American adults get their news through social media. And with a public health scare — the coronavirus — dominating headlines, fake news is spreading like crazy. What rumors are floating around and what should you do if you see them? I've got the scoop.

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Do not sign up for this new social network - January 28, 2020More >>

Long gone are the days of believing you can use major social media platforms and keep your info private. But a new option on the market takes things even further — connecting you with other users using facial recognition software. Yes, it's as creepy as it sounds.

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NYPD works to crack iPhone's encryption - January 27, 2020More >>

Apple and Google refuse to unlock the smartphones of criminals, so police are taking matters into their own hands. Learn how the NYPD is working to crack the encryption codes of iPhones and Android devices.

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Why sales of DNA test kits are tanking - January 24, 2020More >>

So much of your information is available for anyone to find. Not just your phone number, address or Social Security number — I'm talking much more personal. You know exactly what I mean if you've taken one of those mail-order DNA tests. So why are these once-popular kits taking a nosedive?

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Looking for a new job? Listen to this first - January 23, 2020More >>

No matter how impressive your resume, it doesn't matter if you can't get it into the right hands. And with companies using artificial intelligence to screen candidates, you need to know how to get past the bots. Don't make these silly mistakes that will curtail your search.

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Is the U.S. about to ban Chinese drones? - January 22, 2020More >>

Surveillance cameras are virtually everywhere, and government officials are reportedly worried they may be in the sky too. If you have a hobby drone, learn why its days might be numbered.

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Smart contacts: Why they'll succeed where Google Glass failed - January 21, 2020More >>

Wearables aren't just accessories like smart watches and fitness trackers anymore. A California startup has a prototype for augmented reality contacts, shown off at this year's CES in Las Vegas, that might blow all those failed smart glasses out of the water. Would you buy a pair?

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How big is Big Tech? - January 20, 2020More >>

We think of Big Tech in the abstract — huge companies that control vast amounts of data and make a shocking amount of money. But how powerful are they, really? The biggest names in tech are worth more than you might believe.

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Running Windows 10? You need to update now - January 17, 2020More >>

A serious Windows 10 flaw has the National Security Agency sounding the alarm. The intelligence agency is urging users to update the operating system as soon as possible, due to a risky vulnerability that could affect 900 million devices. 

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High-tech entertainment for your furry friend - January 16, 2020More >>

There's not much sadder than the look in my dog Abby's eyes when I leave the house each morning. Most dog owners feel the same way, and tech companies are jumping in to help with content tailored for our furry friends. That's right — a podcast for pups.

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Only 1 week left to file for damages in the 2017 Equifax breach - January 15, 2020More >>

Equifax's 2017 data breach compromised the credit and personal data of millions of Americans. Now the settlement has been agree upon, and your window for making a claim is rapidly shrinking. If you were impacted, file your claim now. Here's how.

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Should Apple help the government unlock the iPhones of terrorists? - January 14, 2020More >>

The federal government and big tech have long battled over balancing user privacy and law enforcement access. Now U.S. Attorney General William Barr is calling for Apple to unlock iPhones involved in a terrorist attack, and the question of backdoor access looms larger than ever.

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Old tech at your house worth big money - January 13, 2020More >>

When you replace your tech with the latest and greatest, what do you do with what you were using before? Stash it in a drawer? Pack it up to put in storage? It's time to bust out those old devices because they just might be worth big money. Can you guess how much a first generation iPod sells for?

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CES fails: Kim's tech misses at this year's trade show - January 10, 2020More >>

CES, the annual tech trade show underway in Las Vegas, showcases the best of the best in the digital world. But there are always some misses in the bunch, too. Check out my list of CES 2020 fails, from a toilet paper delivery robot to a not-so-smart assistant.

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