Apple

Tech Q&A: Apple Pay, Craigslist alternatives, Facebook quizzes and more

Smartphone payments

Q: Is it safe to pay for things using Samsung Pay or Apple Pay on your phone? How do you set it up?

A: Every time a new method of payment hits the mainstream, customers panic for a few months. It happened with debit cards. It happened with PayPal. Now, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are giving smartphone owners anxiety with their newfangled technology. Where do you swipe? Where do you sign? This is perfectly understandable: Like anything, these new services take some getting used to. But if you guard your information closely and follow the instructions, both systems can be real timesavers. Click here to find out how to pay for things using Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

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Smart Craigslist Alternatives

Q: I hate using Craigslist. Is there another site I can use?

A: There is nothing inherently wrong with Craigslist, but the free classifieds page is often overrun with scams and embarrassing personals ads. The go-to directory for free listings and cheap commodities isn't what it used to be, and millions of online customers are actively pursuing alternatives. So what happens when you have an old bicycle in good condition and you want to unload it? Where do smart vendors meet responsible shoppers, and vice versa? Luckily, there are now many quality options. Click here for the best way to sell things online without Craigslist.

Keep track of Alzheimer’s patients

Q: My father has Alzheimer’s. Is there any tech I can use to keep tabs on where he wanders?

A: As a caregiver, there is nothing scarier than losing track of someone with severe memory issues. (If you are asking about this, I can only imagine the scenarios you have had to deal with already.) You will be relieved to know that there are many devices on the market that can help you keep track of a loved one, and nearly all of them are quite affordable – especially compared to 24-hour monitoring by an in-home nurse. Most of these devices are no more intrusive than a wristwatch. Some can even be inserted into a shoe. Click here for five products that can help the Alzheimer's patient in your life.

Skip the Facebook quizzes

Q: I heard you say it’s a bad idea to take those quizzes on Facebook. Why is that?

A: They seem so harmless, don't they? And when the quiz is about world capitals or your favorite TV show, how can you resist? Well, these quizzes often require you to share a lot of your personal data. This might not seem like a big deal at the time, but imagine if a stranger walked up to you in the park and said, “Let’s play a game of chess, but before we do, could I take a picture of your Social Security card?” If you really want to take a quiz, you will find plenty of games and apps in your preferred online store. Click here before you take your next Facebook quiz.

Eyes on the new nanny

Q: I have a new sitter for the kids over the summer. Can you please recommend a hidden cam?

A: Just so you know, the vast majority of hidden cameras are designed to protect your house from burglars or unwelcome guests. That said, you can use a digital surveillance camera however you wish. You could even set one up in front of a fishbowl or front yard, if you felt like it. If you are suspicious of a new babysitter and your kids are too young or shy to express their discomfort, affordable cameras are everywhere. Many can be checked remotely, and most are motion-sensitive. Once you have vetted your nanny's behavior, you might consider using one of these services to monitor your house while the whole family is away. Click here to find a list of the best nanny cams.

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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.