7 tech freebies, Facebook tracking, secure gadgets, and more: Tech Q&A

Facebook Tracking

Q: I heard that Facebook is tracking me when I shop in retail stores now. How can I make this stop? It’s annoying and intrusive.

A: Facebook is partnering with actual stores, so they're not just collecting data from your browser but your real-life activities. This practice is called "off-Facebook activity," and it's already in use by retail chains like Macy's and Dick's Sporting Goods. Luckily, you can opt-out, if you know what settings to change. Tap or click here to stop Facebook from watching you.

Data Breach Alerts

Q: I learn about data breaches before it’s too late to do anything about it. Is it possible to get ahead of the game?

A: When you don't know a data breach occurred, you struggle to keep up with updates, patches, new security measures, and damage control. That's one reason I distribute an exclusive free newsletter about Fraud & Security Alerts; subscribers receive a message in their email the second we learn about a breach. You can also sign up for a host of my other newsletters, but the Fraud & Security Alerts are only sent when a major problem occurs. Stay ahead of hacks, viruses, and phishing schemes, no matter when and where they occur. Tap or click here to sign up for my free breaking security and data breach alerts.

Get Disney+ and Apple TV+ for Free

Q: All these streaming services are confusing the heck out of me. I just want to watch great shows and not junk. How can I try these services for free, especially Disney+ and AppleTV+?

A: Tech companies are fighting for your loyalty, and they're using a tried-and-true tactic to lure in new customers: free stuff. Yes, there's almost always a catch, but for these freebies, the reward is worth it if you qualify. For example, if you're a Verizon subscriber, you can get a year of Disney+ at no cost. I'll show you how to get your hands on the hottest streaming services, smart speakers, and even smart home tech for free. But you have to hurry; these deals won't last long. Tap or click here for 7 tech freebies to get now before it's too late.

Secure Your Tech

Q: With all the gifts being tech this year, I am worried about hackers and scammers. How can I make sure that my new tech is secured correctly? Or am I just being paranoid?

A: This holiday season, millions of people will hurry to set up their devices, create accounts, and register their new gifts. They'll be so eager to fire up their tablets, phones, streaming gadgets, and virtual assistants that they totally forget to review any security settings. Certain apps and devices, such as smart TVs, are infamously insecure. Others, like smart speakers, may create a significant archive of voice recordings before you even realize it's doing so. Tap or click here for 10 essential steps to secure your new devices.

Retrieve Lost Texts

Q: I made a huge mistake. I deleted a bunch of text messages, but I need to get them back. Is it even possible to get these texts back?

A: If you're an iPhone user, you may be able to dig into your iCloud and find the missing data, or you can restore factory settings and reset your phone from an earlier date. That can take some time, and you would have to estimate when these messages were deleted. You might also lose more current data, so you'll have to decide how much those messages are worth to you. But whether you use iPhone or Android, you can also use certain apps to preserve messages, even when they've been removed. Tap or click here to recover your deleted text messages.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

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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.