Get better browser privacy
Q. I'm worried about my online privacy. I've got the basic anti-virus programs but I'm wondering if there's anything I'm missing or anything I can add to make sure my private life stays private. I also want to get rid of tracking ads.
A. There are three free privacy add-ons for your browser that you'll want to check out. Try EFF Privacy Badger to take care of pesky ads that follow you from site to site. Keep yourself protected from malicious links on Facebook and Twitter with BitDefender TrafficLight. Finally, make sure your social media accounts have the correct privacy settings with AVG Privacy Fix. For more details on how these add-ons work, click here.
Gadgets sure to be a hit at Christmas
Q. I know it's a little early, but I'm starting to think about Christmas shopping already. What tech products need to be on my radar this year?
A. Apple is set to release its iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 in time for Christmas – likely in September and November, respectively. While the specs of these gadgets aren't set in stone, you can safely assume they will come with the cutting-edge features that make Apple's mobile lineup so formidable. They'll also have the highly anticipated iOS 8, which will have new features like the built-in HealthKit fitness app.
Meanwhile, gamers young and old will want the PlayStation 4. It supports most major streaming services – Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and more. Sony even released an all-new rental service for video games that lets users stream games directly without having to buy physical copies. That means the PS4 could function perfectly as a living room set-top box for the entire family's entertainment needs.
Want to know more gadgets that will be on everyone's Christmas list? Click here to find out.
Getting the best exchange rate overseas
Q. I'm traveling overseas and I'm getting conflicting information about the best way to exchange my money into the local currency. I heard you mention ways on your national radio show. Can you set the record straight?
A. This is definitely a tricky subject, so I'm glad you asked. You might be surprised to know that you can usually get the best exchange rate with a Visa or MasterCard credit card. Use it for purchases like flights, train tickets, hotels and larger shop purchases. Just note that destinations like Europe use cards with different security from American cards, so your regular card might not work everywhere. Ask your bank about "Chip and PIN" or "Chip and signature" cards. Just watch out for annual fees on these cards – you might have to hunt around for a card that doesn't have them.
You can't use a credit card everywhere, though. Click here for the best ways to exchange currency and other pitfalls to avoid.
How to watch NFL games on my tablet
Q. I recently cut the cord on cable but now I'm worried that I won't be able to watch any NFL games this season. I've tried an HD antenna and that didn't work. What other options do I have so I don't miss any of the big games?
A. If the HD antenna doesn't work, check out Sunday Ticket. This service lets you stream games to smartphones, tablets, computers and other compatible gadgets starting at $199 a year. This also gives you access to out-of-market games, the Red Zone and Fantasy Zone channels. Click here to learn more about how Sunday Ticket works.
How to tell if a review is fake
Q. I recently read your 10 funniest product reviews on Amazon. Those reviews had me in stitches, but I was wondering if there are any ways to tell if a product review is fake, aside from the humor and jokes? I know some companies post their own reviews to try and get more sales.
A. Facts are important in a review. As I recently wrote in a tip on writing reviews, staying factual can protect you from a lawsuit. Click here to read it if you missed it. Make sure the review has enough facts and conclusions to go with it, like what specific features benefitted the purchaser.
If it's just a list of product features with no information about how the product impacted the reviewer, that's a sign that the reviewer is either just copying the features list or that he didn't actually buy the product. The same holds true if it's just a rant about how terrible the product is without any clear reasons.
For more on how to spot a fake review, and what reviews you should trust, click here for my handy guide.
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast, watch the show or find the station nearest you, visit: http://www.komando.com/listen. To subscribe to Kim's free email newsletters, sign-up at: http://www.komando.com/newsletters.