Tech Q&A: Deleting data forever, fighting robocalls, finding secret cameras and more

Securing old devices

Q: I want to give away a few of my old devices. How do I make sure that the data is deleted and cannot be recovered?

A: Whether you give a laptop to a friend or dump it in the Goodwill bin, you know you’re supposed to prevent others from accessing your old files. You cannot simply put your old files in the trash. Fortunately, there are pretty simple ways to permanently erase your drive. Don’t let go of your computer until you do. Click here to learn how to delete data forever on your PC or Mac.

Free Komando app

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Q: I really like reading your advice, so very helpful. Do you have an app?

A: Why, thank you! I love what I do, but just as importantly, I love bringing up-to-the-minute information to folks like you. That’s why there is a Komando app. It’s free to download, and it’s a great way to aggregate the information from my website and radio show. The app includes other fun features as well, from behind-the-scenes Instagram photos to your local weather report. Speaking of “local,” you can enter your location to refine the content you receive. Click here for the free Komando app.

Debugging strange rooms

Q: This Christmas, I have to stay with a creepy relative. How can I check to see if he has spy gadgets in the room?

A: This is no small matter: The internet is awash in intimate photos and footage taken of unsuspecting victims in the privacy of a temporary room. By design, these cameras are hard to spot, unless you know what to look out for. Click here for anti-spying tips and detection techniques.

Meditation apps

Q: I heard you talking about meditation apps. Do you think they work? I’m stressed out most of the time.

A: It’s not always easy to “clear your mind.” That’s why meditation apps can be handy: They provide the calm voice and tranquil ambient sounds you need to remove yourself from the physical world. These apps can be customized to fit your mood and meditation style, and you’re only a pair of earbuds away from mindful isolation. Click here for apps that will make you one with the universe.

End robocalls now

Q: What can I do to stop robocalls? I am so tired of them!

A: Like lice and ringworm, robocalls are easy to contract and a pain to get rid of. Robocalls can be annoying, especially during elections and holidays, but they can also be dangerous, since you never really know how legitimate the caller is. Traditional landlines don’t have much protection against these pests, but smartphones are designed to handle them, thanks to several savvy apps. You can add numbers to a “spam” list or even block these numbers altogether. Click here for apps that will block unwanted robocalls.

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.

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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