BURGLARS USE SOCIAL MEDIA
Q. I read that burglars use social media to target victims. How do they do it?
A. Criminals only need a rough idea of where you live — and access to Google Street View — to start casing your home. Using check-in apps and posting vacation photos broadcasts to the world that you're not at home right then. Be sure to check your privacy settings — and wait until you're safely home to share vacation stories.
NEW WAYS THIEVES STEAL YOUR IDENTITY
Q. I keep hearing about new identity-theft scams. What are they?
A. Identity thieves are using public hotspots to set up fake Wi-Fi networks. So, you might think you're logging onto public Wi-Fi, but end up signing onto a hacker's network instead. If you're in a café or restaurant, ask and make sure you're joining a legitimate network. Medical identity theft is another fast-growing threat. It happens when a thief uses your name and information to receive medical services.
APPS TO BEAT TRAVEL BOREDOM
Q. I travel for business, which means I have a lot of airport downtime. Do you know any apps that will help pass the time?
A. Word Search is a digital version of those classic word-search books. It's fun, addictive and gives your brain a good workout. Trivia hounds will love QuizUp. Or pass the time by enjoying a free and uncut movie on the Crackle app.
CAPTURING THE BEST HOME VIDEOS
Q. I want to take home videos with my digital camera. Any tricks or tips?
A. Avoid over-using the digital zoom feature on your camera — your crisp images will become blocky and fuzzy. Be sure to use multiple angles. Start with a wide shot to establish location, then slowly zoom in on interesting faces and details. Invest in a cheap tripod — it's an easy solution to camera handshake.
THE GOOD AND BAD OF ONLINE BANKING
Q. I still use my checkbook to pay bills. But my wife wants to switch over to online banking. What do you think?
A. Online banking is convenient, simple and often free. You can monitor accounts and pay bills from pretty much anywhere in the world. The downside is even bank-level encryption can't protect you against a major security breach. And, of course, no matter how easy online banking is, there are times when you will want to talk to a real person.
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast, watch the show or find the station nearest you, visit www.komando.com. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.