A Q&A with Komando: virus scans and sanitizing

Sunday Signal

By Kim Komando, Signal Contributing Writer

Sanitize Your Phone

Q: What is the safest best way to clean a smartphone? I read it has more germs than a toilet seat.

A: smartphones are magnets for bacteria, even under the best circumstances. Regular cleaning can radically reduce your chances of getting sick. You can use a range of antiseptic wipes, but a more high-tech approach is an ultraviolet phone cleaner. This device is specifically designed to disinfect your phone and depending on the model you buy, it may be able to charge your battery, as well.

UV rays may sound a little theoretical, but they are some of the most effective weapons against accumulated germs on the surface of your device. The CDC has approved this method, and many users have turned to UV technology since the pandemic took hold.  

iPhone SE Details

Q: Is Apple’s new iPhone $399 iPhone worth the money? How can this one be so cheap compared to the $1,000+ models?

A: The SE is a pretty great deal. It has a fantastic processor, a professional camera with portrait mode, and a Retina display. The phone is smaller than its predecessors, and you don’t get certain features, such as face recognition or night mode for the camera. But if you have been thinking of upgrading anyway, it’s a steal compared to other Apple products, which can often cost as much as a new MacBook.

WFH Job Market

Q: I need to find a job. I searched online, and all I found were scams.

A: There’s a special place in hell for scammers who take advantage of a pandemic to trick people out of their money. But they’re still out there, using all the confusion and unemployment to rope you into pyramid schemes and shifty get-rich-quick schemes.

At the same time, there are real, legitimate companies that are actively searching for workers — specifically people who can work from home. 

If you read this column regularly, you may be excited to know that many of these employers are tech companies. You’ll find educational and healthcare opportunities as well.

You may be seeking a temporary position to help you weather a lay-off, but many of these roles could lead to a whole new career path.

Free Virus Scans

Q: My computer is running slowly. How can I check to see if it has malware or a virus?

A: The worst malware is the kind you don’t even realize is infecting your computer. Unfortunately, malware is often designed to evade notice, and the only symptoms are — as you say — slower operations or other unusual behavior. How can you be sure that there’s an infection, and how much will it cost to find out?

You can still purchase exceptional software, such as Norton AntiVirus, which has led the market for decades. But you can also find highly effective virus scans for free. Meanwhile, don’t assume that a Mac is immune to viruses. Apple does do a great job of protecting its software, but there’s plenty of malware designed to worm its way into your hard drive. A free virus scan is worth a few extra minutes.

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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