Q. I’ve been getting a lot of Facebook friend requests lately from people I don’t know. What’s that about?
A. Scammers like to create fake Facebook profiles and friend hundreds or thousands of people. Not only does it give them access to your posts and information visible only to friends so they have an easier time stealing your ID, it makes the fake accounts look more legitimate to launch other kinds of scams. Find out how to respond to scam friend requests. Also, tweak your Facebook settings to prevent strangers from sending you friend requests.
Q. I’ve got a business trip to Europe coming up and I’m not looking forward to the jet lag. Is there any tech that can help?
A. Jet lag happens when your body’s internal clock and the surrounding environment gets out of sync. You can get it back on track more quickly using light at the correct times to adjust your body’s rhythms. Of course, if you do it wrong you can make things worse. An app like Jet Lag Rooster can create your own custom jet lag prevention plan based on where and when you’re traveling. Give it a try. Then read the bonus Q&A below for more apps to help with travel.
Q.I got in a car accident recently, and while I wasn’t at fault, I almost got blamed because of the way it looked. How can I prevent that in the future?
A. You need a car dashboard camera, or dash cam, like the ones the police use. This will record everything that happens on the road around you so you can prove who was at fault in an accident. It’s also great for avoiding insurance scams where people back into you and claim you hit them. Learn some more great uses of a dash cam and features to look for.
Q. I’m thinking of buying an electric car. Is it different from buying a regular car?
A. Electric cars do have some different considerations. You need to know the range you can travel before you have to charge, how long it takes to charge and what kind of charging facilities are in your area. Remember, if you run out of electricity, you can’t just hike to the nearest station for a gas can. Get the scoop on more electric car technology and terminology to know before heading to the showroom.
Q. I took some family photos on Thanksgiving and they didn’t turn out well. How can I improve for Christmas?
A. Start preparing now with some test shots to get a better handle on the camera settings that work best. Test during the time of day and in the lighting conditions you expect for Christmas, such as morning in the living room or afternoon in the dining room. If you can shoot at an f-stop of f2.8 or f4 and a shutter speed of 1/125 or so, you’ll be able to hand-hold the camera and capture most of the action without using a flash. Get more details on settings and composition tricks that will help you perfectly capture holiday memories.
Q. I hate airports. They’re crowded and I always get lost. Any suggestions for Christmas travel?
A. Before you head out, grab an app like GateGuru. Not only does it give you the usual flight information, it tells you exactly what amenities are in the airport, features reviews and has maps so you can find your way around. Learn about four more apps that make getting through the airport a breeze.
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.