Q. I’m freaked out about apps having access to everything that’s on my phone. What can I do to keep my information private?
A. Far too many apps let the developer access a phone or tablet’s photos, GPS location, microphone, contacts and more. While some apps do need access, many don’t. That means a simple flashlight or wallpaper app might be sending your personal data back to the developer. Once your data is there, who knows where it will end up? Fortunately, you can easily scan major apps like Facebook, Twitter, games, personal assistants and other services to tell you what apps have access to your personal information. Click here for a great tool to manage oversharing apps with just one touch.
Q. I want to install the latest iOS update but I don’t have enough space on my iPad. Now what?
A. Look at your iPad and tell me how many of those apps you really use. I’ve got a trick that can help you. In iOS 8, go to Settings>> General>> Usage>> Manage Storage. For iOS 7 and earlier it’s just Settings>> General>> Usage. Here you’ll see a list of apps and how much space they use. This helps you make an informed decision about where to go fat-trimming. Start with the largest apps (remember that one gigabyte is 1,000 megabytes) and decide which ones you really need. If that’s not enough, fear not! Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to remove photos, music, movies, web history and more.
Q. I’m 82 years young, but my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I was in a restaurant the other day and the menu’s letters were so small. I tried using my iPhone’s light so I could see better, but it didn’t help. Is there another option for an old fogey like me? Thanks, darlin’. I love your radio show!
A. You were halfway to the solution when you pulled out your smartphone. You just need to install a magnifying glass app. Start the app, point your smartphone’s camera at the words you want to read and you’ll see them clear as day on the screen. There are a lot of magnifying apps. Don’t waste time with the bad ones. Click here for the magnifying glass apps I recommend for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.
Q. My browser takes forever to start loading sites after I type them in. Is there anything I can do to speed this up besides upgrading to my service provider’s next tier? I don’t want to spend more money if I can help it.
A. Before spending a dime, try something only the techies know. Switch your DNS settings. Domain Name Service servers turn an address like “www.komando.com” into an IP address like “188.8.131.52” that Internet servers understand. If the DNS servers are slow, it can cause the problem you’re describing. You’re probably using your ISP’s DNS system, but there are others. You can try one of my favorites, OpenDNS, or you can click here to find out which DNS option is going to be fastest for your connection. You should also check your Internet connection to make sure you’re getting the speed you paid for. Click here to test your Internet speed the easy way.
Q. I am the person you called on your national radio show a “Facebook Drink and Poster Child.” I have a few glasses of wine and write away. Now that I admit this, how can I make sure I delete any embarrassing posts from my past?
A. No matter the reason, taking some time to look at and clean up your Facebook history is never a bad thing. The Activity Log shows you everything you’ve ever done on Facebook. To get started, log in Facebook. Then click the down arrow in the upper right corner and select Activity Log. Click here for screen shots and instructions on how to read and remove items from your Activity Log. Of course, your postings could be so bad that it’s best to start over. If you want all your Facebook account postings removed, delete your account entirely. You can do that at this page: www.facebook.com/help/delete_account.
Q. My goal this year is to read the Bible. I’m looking for a program that will make it more interesting. Have you seen anything that might fit the bill?
A. Glo is an award-winning Bible study program that connects to the Internet for maps, images, videos, articles and more. You can add notes, bookmarks and highlights and share them between your gadgets using an online profile. Click here to download it for your PC or Mac. If you are looking for an app for your phone or tablet, click here for five top picks.
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.