(REUTERS/Kacper Pempel )
Out of the Social Security
Q: I am very confused about the changes in the Social Security. I’m a few years from retirement. Is there a place online where I could punch in a few facts and figures to determine whether or not I need my Social security benefits now or wait until I am older?
A: Social Security can confuse many people, especially because the “full retirement” age, for some people this year. If you have the budget, consider hiring a financial planner to figure out when you retire and what your rights will be. In the meantime, I have a few tips for how to maximize your Social security benefits and calculate your retirement income. Click here to calculate your Social Security benefits on the basis of how old you are when you retire.
Get the scoop on suspicious people, for free
Q. My mother is convinced that this man she met in the church likes her. I think he is just after her money. Can you help me with a free background check on him before she gives her life to save?
A: Sounds like a delicate situation! Suspect that somebody is a scammer can be heavy, especially when a true scammer will do everything to not get caught. Then again, if the man eventually looks clean, you don’t want the family to hold a grudge against your assumptions for the rest of your life. Many sites have a background check for you, but they usually cost money. You can independent research, which is generally free. The key is to know what kind of information that is available to the public and what it will say about your mother’s lover. Click here to learn how to do a free background check on anyone.
Digging yourself out of inbox hell
Q: My Gmail is out of control. Should I just close it and open a new account for e-mail?
A: You will not find a better e-mail service, Gmail, and certainly not for free. Gmail is more than just e-mail, of course; a Google account connects you with all sorts of useful tools, such as Google Docs and Google Calendar, as well as social media platforms such as Google Plus and Google Hangouts. If it was only a matter of keeping your e-mail neat, I suggest you stick with Gmail, and make use of the many convenient features for cleaning up your inbox. Digital home is the same as the real household, and you will probably thank yourself in the long term. Click here to get a better grip on your Gmail account.
Find the best music streaming service
Q: Music keeps me going when I am exercising. What is the best music streaming service?
A: There are seven major streaming music services at this time, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Some give you exclusive access to certain artists’ music, can stream video, and they all cost different amounts. My suggestion is to try the free versions of the various services, to find out what the size and selection that you like best, and then consider subscribing. Let me it very easy. For a simple overview of how each one works, you can create a chart on my website. Click here to see the advantages and the disadvantages of each of the streaming service.
The definition of cybersecurity
Q: As a listener of your national radio show for years, I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with all of us. Is there a primer that can help me better understand the different security conditions?
A: I’m glad you have found my advice helpful, and I am still smoother that you take cybersecurity seriously. Crime is always terrible, but as I often tell people: A mugger can threaten your life, but a hacker can pose a threat to your existence. I think what you’re asking for a glossary, which can explain the vocabulary that cybersecurity experts. What is ‘spim’, and how can you protect yourself? What is the difference between a “keylogger” and a “zero-day exploit”? Knowing these terms can help you digest security advice much easier. Click here for my extensive glossary of security.
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.
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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 Komando.com