Tech Q&A: Selling old items online, teaching kids about tech

Selling old items online

Q. I want to get rid of a ton of stuff and wondered if I should bother trying to sell any of it online. I know you’d tell the answer!

A. Great question! Before you toss anything out, head over to eBay and see if other people are selling items like yours and how much they're going for. In the left column of any search result, scroll down to "Show only" and select "Sold Listings" for final prices. That should give you an idea of whether it will be worth your time. Also, be sure to check out these five things that are selling for unbelievable prices on eBay.

Stop carriers from tracking you

Q. I heard on your great national radio show something about Verizon “supercookies.” Can you explain more? Thank you!

A. The term “supercookies” might sound like a tasty dessert, but it’s not. It’s actually what mobile carriers use to track all your browsing activity. For years, Verizon has been tracking its customers' mobile browsing this way. While it had an opt-out option, the supercookie was a permanent part of each user's Web traffic, meaning third parties could still track your travels. That's finally coming to an end. Learn how Verizon got in trouble and what it means for your privacy.

Talk to kids about tech

Q. I'm worried about how my teen is using his smartphone. What can I do?

A. I know your pain. I have a teen in the house, too. Taming your teen’s smartphone usage is a hefty task! But you need to sit down and have an honest conversation about what is and isn't acceptable. With my teen, we regularly discuss news stories about teens who have gotten in trouble texting while driving, sexting and engaging in other dangerous behavior. Get more detailed tips on what to talk to your teen about and good rules you can set up and enforce.

Make money with your phone or tablet

Q. I need money. Are there jobs I can do in my spare time?

A. Yes! Two good services for side jobs are Field Agent and TaskRabbit. Install their apps and you can accept jobs taking photos of store displays, helping someone assemble furniture and other simple tasks in your area. Get four more ways you can use your phone or tablet to make extra money.

Spot a Craigslist scam

Q. I'm shopping for a car on Craigslist and found a good deal, but it's in another state. How do I know it isn't a scam?

A. Scammers are all over Craigslist, so be careful and stay on your feet. One red flag is how sellers want you to pay. Are they requesting a wire transfer? If so, it’s a scam. Also, if they want to bring in a third party that "guarantees" a safe transaction, it's likely a scam. Tell them you're going to drive out to pick up the car and pay with cash, and see what they say. A scammer won't want to meet in person. Get more tips for avoiding Craigslist scams.

Bonus: Can you out-scam scammers?

Q. Sometimes when I get a scam email I want to play along and see what happens. Is that a bad idea?

A. It’s tempting sometimes to play along just to beat scammers at their own game, but be careful. Don’t do it from your regular email address or with your real name. Some people have gotten scammers to send back funny messages, silly pictures or even custom wood carvings. Read three stories about people who turned the tables on their scammers in hilarious ways.

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