Consumer Tech Update

Consumer Tech Update
Latest:

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

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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Kim's CES picks: Innovations from big names in tech - January 9, 2020More >>

CES is a tech lovers paradise, and journalists and fans are going crazy over all the announcements and reveals. As always, cars, artificial intelligence and impressive new gadgets are stealing the show. I'll tell you about some of this year's standouts.

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Scam alert: SIM swapping is on the rise - January 8, 2020More >>

You know not to click untrustworthy links or open attachments from a source you don't recognize. But some crimes are sneakier, like this scam that allows someone to take over your cell phone account — and access all your private data — before you even realize what's going on. I'll tell you how to protect yourself.

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Online reviews: Be careful or you could get sued - January 7, 2020More >>

You have a bad experience with a product or business, so you tap out a quick review voicing your dissatisfaction. What could go wrong? More than you might think. Reviews are big business, and companies aren't shy about going after people who leave negative feedback. I'll tell you why you may want to think twice next time you want to share yours online.

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CES 2020: What's coming this year? - January 6, 2020More >>

CES kicks off tomorrow in Las Vegas, with 4,000-plus exhibitors. We're in for some exciting new innovations in consumer tech, and it's not all TVs and computers. Here's what you can expect, from smarter cars to foldable gadgets.

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Organize your messy photos - January 3, 2020More >>

Take a second to scroll through the photo gallery on your phone, tablet or computer. I'm willing to bet it's a mess. With a couple simple tips and a little time, though, you can make it easier to find your favorite shots.

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Are you getting the internet speed you pay for? - January 2, 2020More >>

Ever wonder if the internet plan you choose really matters, aside from cost? It does, and I'll help you find the best one for you. Once you decide, it's important you're actually getting all the speed you pay for. I'll show you a quick way to check. (No tech expertise required.)

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New year, same dangerous digital world - January 1, 2020More >>

It seems like there's a new data breach or hack around every corner, and cybercriminals are always finding clever new ways to get their hands on your info. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself this new year and beyond.

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2020 New Year's tech resolutions - December 31, 2019More >>

The new year is upon us, and it's time to set some resolutions. Make your digital life better with three simple ideas with big impact. First up, your inbox needs help. I've got a simple way to manage it.

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Parents: Should kids be taught to be polite to Alexa? - December 30, 2019More >>

Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo smart spreaker was among the company’s bestsellers this past Christmas. Parents are asking if they should teach their children to say thank you and please when dealing with Alexa. What do you think?

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Colleges tracking students via their own cellphones - December 27, 2019More >>

Colleges are now tracking students on campus with reminders and class attendance. Is this helping or hindering students? 

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What to buy the day after Christmas - December 26, 2019More >>

The presents are unwrapped, and the big day has passed. Let's look at the top items to buy right now — the day AFTER Christmas. I'll tell you where you can save some serious cash, from tech to decor. And don't forget next year's Christmas decorations.

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Merry Christmas from Kim Komando - December 25, 2019More >>

It's Christmas day across America and today, I want lay aside the consumerism and technology to express my thanks. Take a minute today and say thank you and Merry Christmas to special people in your life.

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Stressed out? Put down your phone - December 24, 2019More >>

Ever scroll through Facebook and feel stressed just trying to keep up? Everyone's having the perfect Christmas — or at least that's what it seems like. Social media could make an already stressful time of year even harder to deal with. Take my advice and put down your phone.

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Still shopping? Last-minute tech gifts - December 23, 2019More >>

Christmas is nearly here, and the clock is ticking if you've still got shopping to do. Everyone loves unwrapping cool tech on Christmas morning. I've got a few suggestions for gadgets worth the money.

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Holidays stressing you out? Try a meditation app - December 20, 2019More >>

If the last minute holiday rush is stressing you out, a meditation app might help you calm down. The market is packed with options, and they're raking in the bucks to relieve your stress.

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"It won't happen to me" - December 19, 2019More >>

Viruses aren't just bugs that spam your computer or shut down your system anymore. Hackers employ sophisticated attacks that can bring your whole digital life crashing down. Are you making the mistake of thinking cybercriminals won't possibly come after you?

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Wait until after Christmas to buy these products - December 18, 2019More >>

Christmas is nearly here, and that means a whole new batch of sales — starting the day after Christmas. If you have your eye on any of these products, wait just a little longer to pull the trigger.  

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3 best ways to stop advertisers from following you online - December 17, 2019More >>

Sick of the constant barrage of targeted ads? You can't completely shut out advertisers online, but you thwart their spying efforts. I'll tell you the top three ways to get back some privacy.

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Science fiction's 'universal translator' has arrived - December 16, 2019More >>

Universal translators that let you connect with anyone aren't just a cool sci-fi trope. There's a real life version available for download now that interprets 44 languages in real-time. Find out how it works.

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Don't buy these creepy tech gifts for kids - December 13, 2019More >>

You know internet-connected devices put your privacy at risk, but just how much? These smart gifts for kids give hackers an open invitation to chat with children and even track their location. I'll tell you exactly what to leave off your shopping list this Christmas.

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Avoid this email holiday package scam - December 12, 2019More >>

Your holiday shopping is probably well underway, and your inbox is packed with receipts and shipping emails. This is a cybercriminal's dream. I'll tell you about a scam hitting inboxes this holiday season and what steps you can take to protect yourself.

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Forget HR - your next interview is with AI - December 11, 2019More >>

Hundreds of big name companies are changing the way they hire: using an artificial intelligence algorithm to rank candidates. Are you in the market for a new job? Here's what this change means for you.

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Health trackers are recording more than you think - December 10, 2019More >>

You know smartwatches and fitness trackers collect info on your steps, your heart rate and other health factors. But have you considered what that data could mean in the wrong hands? If you're giving or receiving wearbable tech this holiday season, don't miss this warning.

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With Uber, everyone is taking a big chance - December 9, 2019More >>

Rideshare company Uber just released its first-ever safety report, revealing data on the number of crashes, deaths and sexual assaults reported during its rides in 2017 and 2018. The numbers are alarming, to say the least.

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Holiday travelers: Find hidden webcams in your rental - December 6, 2019More >>

If you're traveling this holiday season, add this to your must-do list: Check your rental for hidden cameras. Learn how to spot tech that lets creeps watch your every move.

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Students addicted to their phones are more likely to fail exams - December 5, 2019More >>

It stands to reason that students who can't keep their eyes off their phones won't do as well in school as those who pay attention. But just how much of an impact does it make? You'll be surprised. Share this with a student in your life!

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About that TV you bought on Black Friday or Cyber Monday - December 4, 2019More >>

If you upgraded to a smart TV this Black Friday or Cyber Monday, don't miss this. The FBI warns your new television with all the bells and whistles also comes equipped with features that could bring hackers right into your home. Here's what you need to do to stay safe.

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The big 2020 disruption: The 'tipping point' for cable cutting - December 3, 2019More >>

Huge tech innovations have completely changed our lives in the past few decades, and there's a big one on the horizon. Streaming is no longer just an entertainment add-on. How big is it? Find out what analysts predict is coming for cable and satellite companies in 2020.

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Appliances and electronics: Unplug when not in use? - December 2, 2019More >>

Fact or fiction: You should always unplug your electronics when not in use. The answer is simple, but the reason behind it is a little more complex given today's technology. I'll settle the debate once and for all.

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Black Friday: Finding the most popular video games - November 29, 2019More >>

The Nintendo Switch is the hottest tech gift this year. And trying to find one this weekend is going to be tricky. I've got your best bet for getting your hands on this popular gaming system.

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Thanksgiving Day: Stores open earlier than ever for Black Friday sales - November 28, 2019More >>

Are you going to spend today relaxing with loved ones or are you ready to jump into the Black Friday madness? Deals are starting earlier than ever this year, and I'll tell you which retailers are hoping to capture enthusiastic shoppers starting at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.

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My top 5 Black Friday tech deals - November 27, 2019More >>

Don't fall for those mediocre Black Friday sales retailers are pushing in your face. I've got the inside scoop on what's really worth it this year. We're talking a 54" inch TV for less than $300 and a Chromebook for less than $100.

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Best deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? - November 26, 2019More >>

Black Friday isn't just a one-day sale anymore. The days around Thanksgiving are an entire shopping event, and you need some know-how to shop smart. I'll tell you the one day you can't miss if you're looking for the very best deals.

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Before you shop online for Black Friday, listen to these 4 major safety reminders - November 25, 2019More >>

Ah, holiday shopping. You're finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones, scoring great deals on tech you've been waiting to buy and ... avoiding scammers? Don't do it alone. I've got 4 tips to help you stay safe as you're checking things off your Christmas list.

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Online porn heads to new areas - November 22, 2019More >>

X-rated content on the internet is nothing new. But it is being served up in a whole new way — and its producers have their fingers crossed you'll be willing to shell out $9 a month for it.

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