Tech Q&A: Is your smart TV spying on you?

Illustration photo.

Stop smart TV snooping

Q: How “smart” is my smart TV? I am afraid that it is me!

A: Consumers have a love-hate relationship with the smart Tv’s. On the one hand, they are pretty “smart”, and they can do many things a computer can do. But some features are quite undesirable in a privacy-conscious household. For starters, some models keep close track of your viewing habits and send that data out. Fortunately, there are simple ways to kibosh on this passive espionage. Click here to learn how to use the privacy settings on your smart TV.

Watching out for ATM skimmers

Q: Are skimmers really? It doesn’t seem like something a criminal can easily do.

A: Skimmers are very real, and so is the danger of having your information stolen. These days, skimming devices are small enough to blend into the ATM or gas pump. Even worse, you may not know what your PIN is compromised for days or months, because the criminals will have to wait to use it. The data can also be passed to other countries for the purchase of items abroad. But there are a number of simple ways to reduce your chances of getting lean. Click here to learn how to spot a skimmer.

Picking up the phone in other countries

Q: What is the best way for me to use my phone in Europe this summer? I am afraid of the roaming costs!

A: Calling from another country used to be the kiss of death for the phone bill. There are many horror stories of people who traveled to another country, forgot to turn their phones off and end up with astronomical roaming charges. However options have improved dramatically. Until recently, most Americans have no idea how easy it is to switch from a SIM card, although this is a common practice required a “jail-broken” phone, which could be a danger for the safety. So what are other ways to get your phone to work while backpacking in Europe? Click here to learn how to bypass roaming charges.

The tracking of the revenue

Q: I want to do a better job keeping track of expenditure and revenue. There are technical tools to help?

A: For small business owners, collecting all those coupons can make you want to jerk out of your hair. These small pieces of paper piling up in envelopes and drawers, and sometimes it seems impossible to keep them from getting crumpled and torn, much more than in order. Not surprisingly, clever engineers have found ways to digitize these receipts. But you don’t need a cumbersome scanner. You can make digital versions of these fragile paper on your smart phone. Click here for ways tech can keep the revenue.

Learning cybersecurity lingo

Q: I am overwhelmed. How can I learn the ins and outs of protecting my financial information online if I don’t understand the lingo?

A: You’re not alone. Millions of people make use of web services for the bank, shop and transfer funds, but many are hazy about the safety. And as you say, it is difficult to assess your safety if you don’t know the language. Fortunately, the basic vocabulary is fairly easy to pick up, especially if you are running only the basics of online transactions. Click here for a handy glossary of internet security terms.

What questions do you have? Call my radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. Of the buy of an opinion to the digital world problems, click here for my free podcasts.

Copyright 2017, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, newsletters and more, visit her website at

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