Tech Q&A: Ello, Wi-Fi safety, Windows 10, and more

What is the “anti-Facebook”?

Q. What is this "anti-Facebook" I'm hearing about?

A. The latest site to challenge Facebook on the social network scene is called Ello. It has a very clean – almost sparse – look, it doesn't show you ads and it claims to keep your information private. That's about as opposite of Facebook as you can get. Of course, it has a number of challenges to overcome. Click here to learn more about Ello and find out if it has a shot at dethroning Facebook.

Stay safe on public Wi-Fi

Q. Is it true that hackers can see what I'm doing online if we're on the same Wi-Fi network?

A. Yes, it's called "packet sniffing" and it lets hackers see usernames, passwords, site addresses, text messages, email and plenty of other things you do. The good news is that it's easy to protect yourself with encryption. A VPN app like HotSpot Shield VPN will do the trick. You can also use the browser plug-in HTTPS Everywhere to force sites with encryption to use it all the time. Click here for more ways crooks attack you on public Wi-Fi and how to stay safe.

Microsoft is calling new Windows what?

Q. I heard a friend say that Windows 10 is going to be out next year. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but what happened to Windows 9?

A. No, your attention is just fine. Microsoft decided to skip 9 and jump straight to 10, because the next Windows is such a large step in features it deserves a milestone number. Most of what Microsoft is excited about is back-end stuff. What most consumers will care about is that Windows 10 will work just like Windows 7 on laptops and desktops, with a few improvements. If you weren't happy with Windows 8, then Windows 10 is going to be a must-have upgrade. Click here for everything else you need to know about the upcoming Windows 10.

Download free e-books

Q. I'm an avid reader and I love my e-reader. Unfortunately, buying e-books is driving me into the poor house. Any suggestions for free or low-cost e-books?

A. There are plenty of ways to get free e-books – Project Gutenberg is a long-standing favorite. In fact, there are several sites that give you access to thousands of free e-books. Of course, those are usually public domain or lesser-known authors. If you're looking for more recent books on the cheap, there are places you can borrow them, like Open Library. Or you can click here for 5 more places to borrow e-books for free.

Is it a virus?

Q. I think I have a virus on my computer. How can I tell for sure?

A. Given how many viruses there are out there and the wide range of ways they work, detecting a virus isn't as easy as it used to be. Here are five signs that can tip you off. Naturally, you'll want to start with your security software – you do have some installed, right? – and then follow up with a second opinion from a scanner like Malwarebytes. If those don't find anything, then you probably don’t have a virus. But to be totally sure, you can fire up AVG Rescue CD. This runs a scan before any virus has a chance to start, so it catches viruses that are really well hidden. Of course, finding the virus is just the first step. Click here to learn how to remove it and what to do if you can't.

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 Kim also posts breaking tech news 24/7 at