Q. I love to shop at Amazon. How do I know whether I’m getting the best price now or if it’s going to go down later?
A. Prices do tend to fluctuate online a lot more often than they do in retail stores. Keeping track of them yourself isn’t really an option, but there is a site called CamelCamelCamel that can do it for you. It alerts you to price drops on items you’ve told it to watch, plus it can give you historic pricing trends. Click here to start saving money now.
Q. I got caught in the Adobe and Home Depot data breaches last year. How can I tell if hackers actually got hold of my information and are selling it online?
A. More than 110 million people were exposed in those data breaches, so you aren’t alone. Hopefully, you’ve changed your passwords, replaced your cards and signed up for credit monitoring already. However, it’s still useful to know if hackers have your name, email address or anything else. There is a site called PwndList that monitors the lists of cracked identities hackers post online and can tell you if you’re in there. Click here to get notifications if your information is spotted.
Q. My husband doesn’t believe that he snores at night. Every time I try to record him with my phone to prove it, he wakes up. Is there a way to record it automatically?
A. There is an app for that called Sleep Talk Recorder (Android: Free; Apple: $1). Simply start it before bed and it will listen all night and record any loud noises it hears. That should give you the proof you need. If you want to get a bit more high tech, there are plenty of gadgets that can monitor your and your husband’s sleeping habits, including movement, noise, heart rate, breathing rate and environmental factors, to help you both get the best night’s sleep possible. Click here to learn more about these futuristic sleep aids.
Q. With summer camping season coming up, my kids and I use an astronomy app to easily identify stars and planets. But is there an app for identifying the satellites we spot whizzing overhead?
A. I love stargazing apps like Night Sky (Android, Apple; $1) that tell you exactly what star or other celestial object you’re looking at, including satellites. Check to see if your stargazing app includes satellites and, if not, you can try a different one. If you want to keep the app you have, you can get an app made specifically for satellite tracking called SpyMeSat (Android, Apple; $2). It will let you know when satellites are going to be overhead. You should also make sure you know when the International Space Station is going to be around, because that’s quite a sight.
Don’t spend a fortune traveling to your favorite stargazing spot. Read to the end for a great tip to save big on gas for trips.
Q. I’m going through a messy breakup and I’m concerned my ex may have put a spying program on my laptop. I ran a virus scan but it doesn’t show anything. How can I tell for sure?
A. Spying programs, which are also known as “keyloggers” because they usually record what you type, are designed to avoid anti-virus software, so you have to take a different approach. A program like KL-Detector looks for other subtle signs that a keylogger could be on your computer. Of course, if you want to be completely safe you should back up your files, wipe your computer and start over. This time be sure to set up account security that keeps anyone but you from installing programs, and don’t give anyone your passwords.
Q. My wife and I like to do cross-country driving trips for summer vacation. We know from experience the gas stations along the freeways are usually the most expensive. But driving into an unfamiliar town looking for cheap gas can waste a lot of time. Is there a better way?
A. Grab an app called Gas Buddy (Android, Apple, Windows Phone; Free) before you take off. Simply punch in the city or ZIP code you’re in and you’ll see where the cheapest gas is. You can also add the most recent prices you find and earn points that can lead to free gas. That isn’t the only app you’ll want to take on a road trip, though. Click here for five more apps you don’t want to leave home without, and see a list of road trip sights science says you need to check out.
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. Kim also posts breaking tech news 24/7 at News.Komando.com.