Tracking, breaches, doorbells and AirPods

Sunday Signal

Facebook tracking

Q  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. 

Data-breach alerts

Q  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 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.

Video doorbell settings

Q My wife got me a video doorbell for Christmas. I am really worried about who has access to these videos. It’s my house and my privacy. Are there security settings on these things?

A While traditional doorbells are sufficient at letting you know when
someone is at your door, newer video doorbells, such as the Google Nest Hello, provide a real-time view of who is outside your home. The initial setup is straightforward, but there are a few settings you will want to adjust to improve your experience.


Q  love my Apple AirPods. I thought I heard that you could use them as hearing aids. What’s the insider pro trick to doing that?

A If you have ever had difficulty hearing someone during a conversation, AirPods can be your on-demand hearing aid. Apple introduced a feature, starting with iOS 12, called Live Listen.

Once set up, you can place your iPhone closer to the person you want to hear and the AirPods will produce clearer audio for you. There are other AirPod tricks you might like, like finding them when you lose them (It will happen), having Siri announce calls and making your AirPods play nice with all your other devices.


Q  finally got rid of my 8-year-old Windows computer. This new one is fast, but dang, there’re a lot of junk programs on it. What’s the fastest and safest way to clean it up?

A t can be fun setting up a new PC. Customizing your desktop, so it looks just right, downloading new apps, and sitting down to use it for the first time feels fantastic. Unfortunately, it isn’t always as simple as going through a quick setup process, selecting a few colors for fonts and windows and going from there. Tap or click here to learn how to customize your computer.

For information on Kim Komando on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks, visit her at 

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