Is cellphone spying possible?
Q. I went through a really bad divorce, and my ex- seems to know a lot about my current life. It’s like he’s reading my text messages. Could he be doing this?
A. Yes, and it’s not very difficult. There are plenty of spy apps that a snooping ex or significant other can slip on to a phone. Mspy, WebWatcher, SpyToMobile and SpectorSoft's eBlaster are a few popular spy apps. They provide access to your text messages, phone calls, photos, GPS location and even pull information from popular third-party messaging apps. A snoop can see everything that's going on with the phone by simply going to a special website. To learn more about how to block spy apps and what to do if you think one is installed on your phone, click here for step-by-step instructions.
Remove stubborn toolbars
Q. Help, Kim! I installed a free program and it brought along an annoying browser toolbar that I can't get rid of. What can I do?
A. Your best bet is a specialized program like Toolbar Cleaner, which knows where all the little hard-to-remove parts of toolbars like to hide. It's easier than tracking down every program, file and setting manually. It even resets your browser home page, which many toolbars like to change to something you don't want. If that still doesn't work, you can follow my directions for manually removing toolbars and putting things back the way they were.
What Facebook knows about you
Q. I went through my Facebook and removed a bunch of personal information, but my son still says advertisers and others can figure out a lot about me from what's left. Is he right?
A. Facebook and other big companies don't need much information to learn a lot about you. Things like how often you post, when you post, how many words you use, the words you use, how many photos you have, who your friends are and more can tell them a lot. It might reveal if you're unemployed, your mental outlook, politics and plenty more. A website called Digital Shadow gives you a glimpse into what companies see about you online. Interestingly, it was developed to promote a video game, not to make money off of you. Just think how much more a large company with money at stake can do.
Sell your old phone for cash
Q. I just got my new iPhone 6 Plus and I'm not sure what to do with my old iPhone 4s. Is it worth trying to sell it? Where would I start?
A. A site like WorthMonkey will tell you exactly how much you can expect to get, so it's an essential first stop. A quick glance shows me that an iPhone 4s 16GB in "Good" condition will get you around $122, which is nothing to sneeze at. You can tweak the results for storage size, condition and carrier for a more accurate estimate. Once you know whether the gadget is worth selling, click here for detail instructions on where to sell it and how to get the best price.
Important secret to fix a misbehaving computer
Q. My computer keeps slowing down and then crashing. Is a program causing the problem? I don't have a lot of money and I don't want to take it into a shop if I don't have to.
A. It could very well be a program, but the trick is figuring out which one. Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to bring up Windows' Task Manager. Then go to the Processes tab to see everything running on your computer. There will be a column for CPU and a column for Memory. A process with a high CPU percentage when nothing much is happening on the computer could be your culprit. And a process with a large memory number that keeps growing is also suspicious. See what program the process belongs to and close it. If your computer goes back to normal, you have your answer. Click here for a lot more detail on processes, figuring out what programs go with what process and other steps to try to fix your computer.
On the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com. Kim also posts breaking tech news 24/7 at News.Komando.com.