August 2, 2011

Kim Komando answers your computer, Facebook questions

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Q. I think my ex-husband is listening to my voicemail messages. He seems to know a lot about what is going on in my life. How can I stop him?

A. We’ve been hearing a lot about voicemail hacking lately. It is very easy for anyone to hack. Most phones ship with a default voicemail password or no voicemail password. A hacker with your phone number can get everything. You will need to set up a new password to stay safe. The process varies by phone and provider. Get step-by-step instructions to protect your voicemail at www.komando.com/news. When you change the password, avoid common number sequences. For example, 1234 and 0000 are both easily guessed.

Q. I’m looking for a work-from-home job. How can I avoid getting scammed?

A. Working from home sounds like a great idea. However, many work-from-home jobs offered online are scams. There are a few ways you can tell. The company might be new or doesn’t have a real-world presence. The income promised might sound too good to be true. The company requests money for training material or to complete paperwork. It pressures you into giving out sensitive information. The job requires any exchange of money, even if it isn’t yours. All of these can be red flags. Instead, visit www.komando.com/news for some safe job-hunting resources. 

Q. A friend told me that Microsoft no longer supports Windows Vista. Do I have to upgrade to Windows 7?

A. Your friend wasn’t entirely accurate. Microsoft has ended support for Vista with Service Pack 1. That version of Vista won’t receive any more program or security updates. Fortunately, you don’t have to upgrade to 7. A service pack is a collection of updates and sometimes new features. Microsoft released Service Pack 2 for Vista in 2008. That’s probably what you have installed. It will be supported until 2013. If you have an older computer, you might be running SP1. You can upgrade to SP2 for free using Windows Update. 

Q. What are Mac gestures?

A. Most new Apple products support multi-touch input. The Macbook’s built-in trackpad is a good example. You can also buy a multi-touch trackpad for Mac desktop computers. Multi-touch means you can control your computer with special gestures. A pinching or rotating gesture can zoom or rotate content. Four-finger swiping controls Expose and switches applications. There are lots of potential gestures. Of course, not every gesture will be useful to you. Try grabbing a free program like MagicPrefs from www.komando.com/news. It lets you customize any gesture to activate whichever action you what. 

Q. I got an email from Facebook saying a new computer logged into my account. What does this mean?

A. Facebook implemented several new security features recently. One of those features is Login Notification. It notifies you by email whenever a login occurs. This is a great security feature. You can catch hackers logging in from unknown computers. If that happens, open your Facebook profile. Go to Account>>Account Settings. Then scroll down to the Account Security section and click the change link. Now, go to the Most Recent Activity section to see a list of account activity. You can remotely log out unauthorized users. Then change your account password to keep them from coming back.

Copyright 2011, WestStar TalkRadio Network. All rights reserved.

Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast or find the station nearest you, visit: http://www.komando.com/listen. To subscribe to Kim’s free e-mail newsletters, sign-up at: http://www.komando.com/newsletters.