Security

Tech Q&A: Online service records, web surfing, old-fashioned phones

Illustration photo.

Illustration photo.  (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel)

Find military records now

Q: My Dad was in the service. Can I see his military records online?

A: Over the years, I’ve found that many veterans don’t talk about their experience in the military. Some of them are too humble. Some don’t want to remember. But a shocking number just never think to talk about it. Whatever your motivation, I applaud your interest in your father’s service. You’re also in luck. The Armed Forces are famous for keeping meticulous records, and you’ll be able to find quite a bit of information without having to work too hard. Click here to learn about the best military records digital archive.

Going back to the days of clamshell phones

Q: I don’t want a smartphone. Is there such a thing as a “dumb phone”?

A: Good for you! I mean it. If you don’t need or want a smartphone, there’s no reason to have one. Too many people clamor to buy the newest iPhone for no reason, or because they succumb to peer pressure. But if you don’t need regular access to email and social media, and if you’re not interested in games or streaming video, there’s really no reason to invest in a smartphone. To answer your question, “dumb phones” are all over the place. They’re cheap, easy to use and extremely dependable. If you pine for your old flip-phone, there’s no reason not to go back. Click here to become smart about dumb phones.

How to identify a malignant greeting card

Q: I received an online greeting card. How do I know it’s not a secret key logger?

A: I’m glad you’re asking, because too many people have no idea what a “key logger” is. The important thing is to suspect any email that doesn’t make any sense. If your Aunt Carole has never sent you a digital greeting card before, you might wonder why she’s doing so now. That goes double for a total stranger. But there are other clues that an ecard might be a key logger in disguise. Click here to learn more about key loggers.

More from Kim Komando

Cash in on ‘unclaimed money’

Q: I’ve heard you talk about unclaimed money on your national radio show. How can I search for money in my name?

A: Coming from a frugal family, I’ve never understood how anyone can allow debts to remain unclaimed. If someone owes you money, or a company should have sent you a rebate, or the government owes you unclaimed property, you are entitled to these things. So why don’t people follow up? Because we often forget about these little debts, or we don’t even realize that the debts exist. Well, there’s an easy way to find this unclaimed money, and if you play your cards right, you might be able to force a windfall. Click here to learn more about unclaimed money.

Keeping your web surfing secret

Q: Is private browsing truly private?

A: Great question. The truth is, it’s not. Don’t get me wrong; private browsing is very effective, especially when you’re hiding certain websites from someone close to you. But browsing is a shockingly public act, and there are certain loopholes that would enable a spy or a hacker to figure out where you’ve been and what you did there. As always, proceed with caution, and find out exactly what private browsing does and doesn’t do.

Click here for reasons why private browsing isn’t really private.

What questions do you have? Call my national 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. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

Learn about all the latest technology 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.

Copyright 2017, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.