Kim’s Q-and-A: pay apps, mobile signature, credit checks

Sunday Signal
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By Kim Komando, Signal Contributing Writer

Each week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products, and all things digital.

Sometimes, choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the best part of my job. This week, I received questions about payment apps, free credit reports and more.

Payment app lowdown

Q My 31-year-old unemployed worthless brother wants me to send him money using Venmo. Is this a safe way to give someone money? I definitely don’t want him to have my credit card number or checking account number.

A Argh, that sounds like an annoying situation. Venmo is considered the go-to service for “peer-to-peer” transactions, and millions of people use it every day without incident. A big problem with the service is how public your transactions can be; by default, you can watch transactions take place between friends and relations, thanks to Venmo’s chummy relationship with Facebook.

I recommend changing these settings as soon as possible, as there is no sensible reason to carry out these transactions publicly. There are many similar services to Venmo available, including Apple Pay with compatible devices. 

Change mobile signature

Q Every time I send a message, at the bottom, it says, “Sent from my iPhone.” It annoys the heck out of me. Can I change that message?

A Putting that message in all iPhone messages by default is real genius marketing. Whoever thought of it should have gotten a huge bonus from Apple. You’re not alone being aggravated by it. Many people have no idea that they can change this signature line, or even that it is, technically, a signature line.

You may have noticed that certain email platforms allow you to use a signature in their desktop version, but that signature doesn’t carry over to the mobile version. This can be frustrating, but it’s a pretty quick fix. Kim created an easy how-to online: https://bit.ly/39Faddl.

Free credit report

Q I know that I better credit than my future wife, who buys whatever she sees in Instagram ads. What’s the best way to get both of our credit scores before we go condo shopping?

A It’s hard to believe how difficult it used to be to check your credit. Until recently, the very act of checking your credit score was said to damage it. Today, many different services let you check your credit for free. You can check both your credit and your future wife’s, and you can see itemized lists of all credit cards, loans, car leases, and so on.

You will probably have to consult your realtor and financial representative for the best way to handle the uneven scores; sometimes it’s a matter of putting one name on the mortgage and adding your wife after the closing. 

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

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