Keep hackers from snooping
Q. How can I make sure that the sensitive websites I'm visiting are encrypted?
A. The address on an encrypted site will start with "https" instead of "http." Every banking site and most email and social sites you visit will be encrypted. Some sites might have encryption, but it isn't turned on by default. You could dive in to the account settings to find it. Or you can use the free HTTPS Everywhere browser extension. This forces any site that supports encryption to use it.
Secret Google tricks
Q. I need to know when my relative's flight is coming in. What's the easiest way to find out?
A. Actually, you can just use Google. Type the airline name and flight number into the search box. You'll instantly see the flight's arrival and departure status. Google even shows you terminal and gate number information. That isn't the only cool trick you can do with Google. Track your Christmas packages by entering the tracking number in Google Search. You don't need to go to the carrier's website anymore! Go to http://www.komando.com/tips/index.aspx?id=15673 for 3 more incredible Google tricks you'll want to try.
Best video game console
Q. Should I buy our family the PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Wii U?
A. It depends on the age of your kids and how you want to use it. The PlayStation 4's high-end hardware is best for hard-core gamers who want that latest and greatest games. If you want a solid gaming experience and a full media center with hands-free control, the Xbox One is your pick. The Wii U has the best range of family-friendly games and classic franchises like Mario and Zelda.
Taking great smartphone photos
Q. I've seen people take some great iPhone pictures, but mine never turn out right. Any suggestions?
A. You bet. Start by holding the phone with two hands and using the volume control to snap the picture. This gives you more stability and reduces blurring. Before you snap, tap the screen where you want to focus. This will also set the exposure. Tap and hold to lock the focus and exposure for trickier shots that are backlit. Go to http://www.wicotalk.com/komando.php to learn even more handy photo tips here.
Best tablet for travelers
Q. What is the best tablet for someone who travels a lot?
A. Overall, the Nexus 7 LTE is a good place to start. It's small, light, relatively inexpensive, but packs a punch. Plus, it runs the latest version of Android, which is very good. For Apple lovers, the iPad Mini with Retina is your best option. It's more portable than the iPad Air, but has the same power.
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. Hear it locally at 94.3 WSC News Radio noon-3 p.m. Sundays. For more information, go to www.komando.com.
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