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Tech Q & A: Facebook hoaxes, Windows 10 privacy settings and more

File Photo (Facebook)

File Photo (Facebook)

Facebook hoaxes going around

Q. I keep seeing posts on Facebook about Mark Zuckerberg giving away money. Is this true?

A. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced after the birth of their daughter that they would be giving away 99 percent of their Facebook shares. But they said nothing as to when, or how, these shares would be handed out. This opened the door for online hoaxes, and there have been several going around. Like this one that claims you could get $10 million just for sharing or liking, and this one that has people posting a magical unicorn. If you see them, it's best not to click, like or share. You know what they say … "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Neighborhood safety

Q. My family is relocating to a new city. I'm unfamiliar with the area, and am concerned about crime. How can I see my new neighborhood?

A. The website My Local Crime is a great resource for anyone who is thinking of moving into a new neighborhood. It allows you to enter an address and see what crimes have recently been committed in the area. You can also listen to police scanners anywhere in the nation using free software called Police Radio Scanner. Keep in mind, every city will have its fair share of crime, but research will at least give you some insights into what's going on.

Windows 10 privacy settings

Q. I've heard rumors that Microsoft collects information about what I do online. Is that true, and what can I do about it?

A. If you use Windows 10, then the answer is probably yes. Many consumers are worried about some of the details in the Windows 10 privacy policy, which allows Microsoft to collect a lot of information about you and your online activity. Microsoft claims this information is used only to make improvements to its products' functionality, but this tactic still doesn't sit well with many. What's worse is that the steps to update your privacy settings are confusing and tedious. But you can use this little trick I know to take back control of the information Microsoft can collect.

Using Twitter for a small business

Q. I run a small business, and everyone says I need to set up a Twitter account. Is that really necessary?

A. Social media has truly transformed the way customers interact with companies, and it can be a valuable marketing tool for any business. Most companies benefit from having well-managed Facebook and Twitter accounts, but you need to know how to use them. Posting too much or too little can hurt you. The best tip is to use each platform for a specific purpose that benefits your business. For example, use Facebook to share events, photos and customer testimonials, then use Twitter to share coupon codes, news and special discounts. If you're unfamiliar with Twitter, here are some additional tips to help you tweet like a pro. And follow me at Twitter.com/KimKomando.

Computer security

Q. I received a new laptop for Christmas. What should I do to make sure my browsing is secure?

A. One of the first things every new computer should have is a good anti-virus. But, beyond that, there is one critical computer setting that can really keep your computer more secure. It has to do with Adobe Flash. Since Flash is so widely used, it's also a prime target for hackers who are looking to hide malware. If Flash can run ads and videos automatically, you may pick up a virus without intending to. Learn more about adjusting your computer settings to take control of your Flash player.

Slow Internet

Q. I've noticed that sometimes my Internet seems slower than other times. What causes this?

A. It could just be your Internet connection acting up. Or it could be someone is stealing your line, sucking up valuable bandwidth. Luckily, you can check to see what devices are connected to your network. And, if you do find unauthorized devices, there are steps you can take to ensure they won't return. Here's a helpful resource where you can learn the steps to identifying possible threats and securing your personal network.

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.