Bring more traffic to your online business
Q. I have a small real estate website and I want to get more people to view my site and get more customers. How can I reach more people?
A. There are several things you can do to get more visibility to your website. A good starting point is with Facebook and Google+. Build a social profile and share lots of relevant content. Relevant content could be links to events in the community, news articles about your market, tips, tricks, or trends. You will also want to use words that search engines will pick up. Use a tool like Google AdWords to find appropriate keywords. You also might want to consider sending email newsletters to your audience, all while encouraging them to share the content on social media!
Should I buy the iPhone 5s or wait for the iPhone 6?
Q. I have an iPhone 4 currently, and know that the phone prices are pretty low these days. I'm thinking about upgrading to the iPhone 5s, but then I read a few things about the upcoming iPhone 6. Should I pull the trigger and get a 5s, or wait until the 6 comes out?
A. That's always the question, isn't it? The rumor mill for the iPhone 6 is going pretty strong. Rumors are that the screen will be a larger 4.8 inches, but with the same resolution as the 5s; will have bigger storage - up to 128 gigs - the current limit is 64; a sapphire screen, which means the screen is less likely to shatter; and of course it will be bigger, faster and stronger. Could it even be curved? Is any of this true? We don't know because Apple doesn't release details before a phone's release.
If you need a phone now, it's still a long time to wait for the 6 to come out, and the 5s is going to be around for years still. Keep in mind that you may have to sign a contract, which is usually a two-year commitment, so make sure you are happy with whatever you decide.
An essential tip for safe banking on the go
Q. I travel a lot and do my banking on the go. Is it safe to bank on public Wi-Fi?
A. The answer is a firm "No." You could be on the same Wi-Fi network as hackers. Even with security measures in place, they can still nab your usernames and passwords. So, reserve using sensitive sites for home or use your cellular connection. Also, on a smartphone or tablet, using a bank's app - if it has one - is safer than using its website. Read more of my rules for staying safe on public Wi-Fi.
Signs of a dangerous online shopping scam
Q. I keep getting emails with links for coupons. When I click on them, the site asks for my credit card information. Are these for real?
A. Nope, those are definitely scams. A legitimate company won't ask for your banking or credit card information to get coupons. Look for red flags, including misspellings and multiple pop-up windows, that are dead giveaways for a scam site. If an email seems suspicious, don't reply or click on any links. Delete it immediately. Click here for more signs of an online shopping scam.
Buying a laptop for college
Q. I'm sending my third child to college in the fall and I'm wondering what type of laptop I should send her off with. She will be a nursing major and has no preference on what type of machine she wants. She uses an iPad in high school, so I know she is savvy with that. What do you think would work best for her?
A. With no preference, you can save a lot of money. I recommend a traditional Windows laptop. These range from $500 to $700 and give you the most bang for your buck, whereas MacBooks start at $1,000. Assuming you want the laptop to last all four years of college, look for a machine with 8 gigs of RAM and a Core i5 processor with model number in the 3000s or higher. You will also want to see if your daughter qualifies for educational discounts through Microsoft or through the school's bookstore.
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.