Q. Do you recommend a credit freeze to protect against identity theft?
A. A credit freeze prevents potential creditors from accessing your credit report. They won’t be able to issue credit in your name. This prevents identity thieves from opening new credit cards or loans. That is, provided the creditor even checks your report. It sounds good, but I don’t recommend it. The reporting agencies charge for freezes. You’ll also have to unfreeze your report every time you apply for credit. Besides, credit freezes don’t offer enough protection. Thieves can use existing accounts, for example. Skip credit freezes. Sign up for an identity theft protection service instead. It will be more convenient-and more effective.
Q. I want to connect my HDTV to the Internet. The instructions say I need a network bridge to connect wirelessly. What is a network bridge?
A. Network bridges are fairly common pieces of networking gear. Still, not many people understand them. They let you connect multiple network segments together. On home networks, however, bridges are mostly used to connect gadgets to an incompatible network. For example, a bridge lets you connect wired gadgets to a wireless network. This is the case in your situation. Choosing a bridge doesn’t need to be difficult. Follow your television manufacturer’s recommendations. Failing that, select one from the same manufacturer that made your wireless router. Just make sure the connections are right for your HDTV.
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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.