Shopping online with credit
Q. My wife does a lot of shopping online, all at reputable businesses, but her credit card has been stolen four times in the last year, requiring her to get a new card each time. Is there a way to shop online with a credit card that will self-destruct after each purchase?
A. Contact your credit card company and see if you are eligible for one-time-use cards. With these cards, you can set up certain guidelines. For example, you can only use the card at certain websites, can only spend up to $100, or can only use it Tuesday from 8 to 10 a.m.
You could also open a dedicated free checking account just for online transactions. Only put money in when you need to buy something. If a hacker takes over the account, it's no big deal as long as your real account isn't linked to it. You could also try using gift cards or pre-paid credit cards.
Stop Facebook from listening
Q. I recently read about a new Facebook feature that uses your smartphone's microphone to listen in on you, but claims it helps you share and discover music, TV and movies. I don't like this invasion of privacy at all. How do I stop it?
A. In a stunning display of good sense, Facebook has made that feature opt-in, so it's off by default. When the feature becomes available, you'll see a screen asking if you want to turn it on. Just tap "Not Now." If you see a blue audio icon flashing in the Facebook app, that means Facebook is trying to identify noises. If there's no icon, Facebook isn't listening. You can double check that it's off in your Facebook app settings. It should be listed under "feelings and activities." While you're at it, you should go take a look at all your privacy settings in Facebook. Find out about five Facebook privacy problems you need to fix now.
Turn your clutter into cash
Q. I've got tons of old CDs and DVDs lying around the house. Is there a better option than just throwing them away?
A. There are lots of sites that will take your old discs. Amazon and Best Buy both have trade-in sections on their sites. Search for your titles, view a quote, then ship out your items if you decide to sell. There's also Decluttr. This site will take those old CDs, DVDs and video games that are cluttering up your workspace and send you a check in the mail.
Of course, there is a catch. Most of these companies won't take just any old disc. You have to have the original packaging - including the case and booklets. They also take condition and demand into account. So, you won't make much for that scratched up copy of "Come On, Eileen" hiding at the bottom of the pile. I know you secretly still listen to it, anyway.
Safely log in with Facebook?
Q. I see online apps that ask you to 'log in with your Facebook account' ... is this safe? Do they store your login information?
A. Facebook has assured users time after time that logging into third-party apps is safe, but there's too much at risk to blindly trust it. If you're worried about these apps getting too much of your sensitive information, you're in luck. On April 30, Facebook announced that users now have the ability to log into these third-party apps anonymously. It's called Anonymous Login and it gives people the option to pick and choose what information these apps get. It also won't let apps post anything to Facebook on your behalf.
Remember: When websites ask you to log in with Facebook, you don't have to log in with Facebook. There's usually another option to log in with an email address. And you don't really need to give these sites your email address. You can use a service like MailDrop and use a fake or temporary email address to use these apps or sites.
Great ways to share wedding photos
Q. I'm getting married in Mexico next week and I want to create a place where our guests can upload their photos in one place. What are your recommendations?
A. There are a few different online photo services you could try out. Photo-sharing site Shutterfly is one, and photo-organizing site Picasa is another. However a site like DropEvent might be your best bet. It lets you create collaborative photo galleries. Just send an email with the gallery link to anyone you want to contribute to the album. They can upload and everything is in one place for you to view and download. It's a free service, and your account will be active for six months.
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.