Tech Q&A: Getting Amazon Prime for free, avoiding eBay scams | Fox News


Illustration picture.

Facebook quiz warning

Q. I love taking quizzes, but I’ve heard reports that it may not be safe. Is this true, Kim?

A. Online quizzes can be risky. People love to take and share them, which makes them ideal tools for scammers. Facebook quizzes are especially worrisome. Developers can use them to access personal details in your profile or worse, to lead you to fake websites as part of a phishing scam. The safest option is to avoid them, but there are other ways to protect yourself. Keep your privacy settings tight, and dont list anything that isnt absolutely necessary in your profile. Click here for more reasons you should think twice before taking another quiz on Facebook.

Reversing the Windows 10 upgrade

Q. Kim help! Im thinking about upgrading to Windows 10, but Im still on the fence. Is there a way I can go back to the old version of Windows if I dont like it?

A. Yes you can. Once youve upgraded to Windows 10, you have 30 days to revert to an older version. Rolling back to Windows 7 or 8 may still be possible after the 30-day period if you restore your PC to factory settings, but remember: If you take this route, you could lose the files and programs youve installed on your computer. Before you switch, Id recommend that you read several consumer reviews and watch demo videos to see how Windows 10 operates. Ive also shared several pros and cons on my website. Click here for 10 reasons why you might not want to switch to Windows 10 at all.

Get Amazon Prime for free

Q: My daughter just graduated and is headed off to college. Is there an easy way she can get the things she needs? 

A: Once your daughter is registered for classes and has her .edu email address from the school, sign her up for Amazon Prime. The typical 30-day free trial is extended to six months for students, meaning your daughter can enjoy all the benefits of Amazon Prime, including same-day delivery on household items, without paying the membership fee, which is around $99. When the six-month trial period expires, students can continue their Prime membership for 50 percent off the annual cost. And with the right phone plan, you could also qualify for a free Prime membership. Click here for more details, and to see if you qualify.

Avoiding scams on eBay

Q. I really want to go to Comic Con in San Diego this year, but I missed the deadline to buy my ticket. I heard eBay has them. Is that a good place to find last-minute deals?

A. Be careful. Tickets sold on eBay are often scams, and you may not realize it until youre turned away at the door of the event youd planned to attend. By then, the scammers are long gone and youre out the money you spent, which can be hundreds of dollars. Scammers are careful to make these tickets look legitimate, so fraudulent tickets are difficult to detect. Its always safest to purchase event tickets directly from the venue itself, rather than from online scalpers. Click here for additional eBay scams spreading now, and how to avoid them.

Free up storage space on your phone

Q: I hate deleting photos from my phone. I know theyre stored on the cloud, but I dont ever use that. Is there another place to keep them? I really need the storage.

A: Try Google Photos. This app is a free download for both Apple and Android, and gives you unlimited storage space for your photos and videos. Heres the best part: Google Photos uses facial recognition, GPS information and time stamps to help you organize your archives. This means youll never have to hassle with tagging. You can find images of a particular person just by tapping a picture of them, or enter a date to find the videos you took while on your family vacation. The app also includes basic editing tools that allow you to add filters, adjust lighting, change colors, etc. If you still need more storage space, click here for two additional apps that can free up room on your phone.

Bonus tip: Make money from home

Q. I am a stay-at-home-mom right now and I really enjoy it, but I want to bring in some income. I heard you talk about some ways to do this on your national radio show. What were they?

A. If youre a quick typist and you value detail, try transcribing audio. All you need is a good pair of headphones and a good set of ears to earn extra cash. The website connects businesses that need transcription services with freelancers who can do the work. Just keep in mind that most clients will expect a quick turnaround, so you may be asked to complete the assignments right away. If transcription isnt for you, there are other freelancing jobs you can pursue. Click here for additional ways to make real money at home.

Copyright 2016, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

On the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at

Read more:

After baby stops breathing, ‘Hey Siri’ comes to the rescue | Fox News

File photo (Reuters). (Reuters)

An Aussie mom recently penned a heartfelt thank-you note to Apple, and her story of how the company’s “Hey Siri” feature helped save her 1-year-old daughter is now making the rounds.

Per, Stacey Gleeson noticed her daughter, Giana, wasn’t breathing back in March, and as she leaped into action to perform CPR, she dropped her iPhone.

As Gleeson started taking life-saving measures on her baby, she shouted, “Hey Siri, call the ambulance,” 7 News reports. Gleeson was able to have a back-and-forth with emergency dispatchers as she continued CPR on Giana, who the BBC reports had been dealing with a respiratory illness and chest infection.

The child was breathing again by the time the ambulance arrived at their Cairns home, and Gleeson says doctors told her every second had mattered. The “Hey Siri” feature, which allows the AI assistant to be activated without the user having to press the “Home” button or be plugged in to power, is available only on Apple’s newest devices (Gleeson has an iPhone 6S).

Her husband, Nic, tells 7 News the feature “might have given the precious moments Stacey needed to revive Giana.” Gleeson tells the BBC she had “played around with Siri” beforeNic is in the Navy, so she’ll often put him on speakerphone while she’s helping her kids get ready for bedbut she now recognizes the technology’s value.

“Saving me the trouble of having to physically dial emergency services was a godsend,” she says. (Gleeson’s story counters the results of a study on Siri’s performance in health crises.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: After Baby Stops Breathing, ‘Hey Siri’ Comes to Rescue

Read more:

The Galaxy S7 Active has the battery all smartphones need | Fox News

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active (Samsung)

By this point, the recipe for Samsung to make the Galaxy S[x] Active is pretty simple: take this year’s flagship Galaxy Swhatever, add some physical buttons, a rubber exterior, some waterproofing, and then sell it to Jeep owners.

With the Galaxy S7 Active, things are mostly the same. But Samsung’s added a 4,000mAh battery, which should get you through the toughest day of gentle offroading.

DON’T MISS: Mark Zuckerberg’s social media has been hacked, because no one is safe

This year’s S7 Active is an AT&T exclusive, because apparently it’s 2007 again and there are carrier exclusives. If you choose to sell your soul for a 24-month contract, you’ll be paying about $795 for the phone when it’s all said and done.

That’s a lot of money for a smartphone, but the S7 Active is an impressive pony with many tricks. It has the same internals as the regular S7: quad HD 5.1-inch screen, Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of (expandable) storage, fingerprint reader built into the home button, and three physical buttons on the front in total. Oh, and of course, it’s waterproof for everyone but scuba divers.

Looks-wise, it’s basically a bigger and more rubbery Galaxy S7. It’s a little on the chunky side for a 5-inch phone, but considering you won’t have to add a case, it probably works out even.

Whether it’s worth the size and price over the Galaxy S7 is a different question. The Active version made more sense last year, when the Galaxy S6 wasn’t waterproof. This year’s Galaxy S7 is water-resistant to begin with, so the S7 Active is really adding two things: drop protection, and a bigger battery.

You can add the drop protection with a case, so what it really boils down to is the 4,000mAh battery inside. That should easily see you through a day of the hardest use, and two days if you’re careful about it. For people who find themselves off-grid frequently (or are just really bad at remembering chargers), it could be a worthwhile upgrade.

Read more:

Hands-free phone use by drivers ‘equally distracting’ – BBC News

Media captionThe mother of a child who was killed on the road talks about how shes forgiven the driver

Drivers using a hands-free phone get just as distracted as those holding it in their hand, researchers have found.

Scientists at the University of Sussex found conversations can cause the driver to visually imagine what they are talking about.

This uses a part of the brain normally used to watch the road, the University of Sussex study said.

The findings made the case for all phones to be banned from cars, according to the lead researcher.

It is illegal in the UK to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar devices.

Drivers can get an automatic fixed penalty notice if caught using one. They will get three penalty points on their licence and a fine of 100.

The law currently says drivers can use hands-free phones, sat navs and two-way radios, but if the police think the driver is distracted and not in control of the vehicle, they could get penalised.

Checking for hazards

The study involved 20 male and 40 female volunteers who took part in video tests while sitting in a car seat behind a steering wheel.

One group of volunteers were allowed to “drive” undistracted while another two heard a male voice from a loudspeaker 3ft (0.9m) away.

Those who were distracted by the voice engaging them in conversation took just under a second longer to respond to events, such as a pedestrian stepping off the pavement, an oncoming car on the wrong side of the road or an unexpected vehicle parked at a junction.

The study showed that asking a simple question – such as, “where did you leave the blue file?”- during phone conversations could mean a driver concentrates on an area four times smaller than normal, because their brain is imagining the room where they left the file, instead of checking for hazards in front of them.

Image copyright Onzeg
Image caption It is illegal in the UK to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar devices

‘Terrible accident’

Alice Husband’s seven-year-old son Seth died in December 2014, two weeks after he was hit by a car driven by a woman who was talking to a friend on her mobile phone using the loudspeaker function.

Mrs Husband told BBC Radio 5 live she agreed with the coroner, who said at her son’s inquest that the use of the mobile phone would have had an impact.

“If my son perhaps wasn’t so excited and didn’t run, if he walked across the road – he’s a child – if the driver hadn’t been speaking on her mobile phone, all of these things could have made a difference to him, but at the end of the day it was a terrible accident and nothing is going to bring Seth back,” she said.

“I think even just using a CD player; obviously we all know it is distracting because you are looking away from the road and I think we need to be more aware of how any distraction influences our driving and how important it is not to be distracted by such things if you get a phone call.”

Dr Graham Hole, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Sussex, said the research laid bare the “popular misconception that using a mobile phone while driving is safe as long as the driver uses a hands-free phone”.

“The problem is enforceability – it’s very difficult for the police to tell if someone’s using a hands-free phone,” he said.

“But on balance, I think the law should be changed to get the right message across and make it absolutely clear that any use of a mobile phone while driving is hazardous.”

‘Lives lost’

Other studies have suggested that phone conversations in a car are more off-putting than listening to the radio or talking to a passenger, Dr Hole added.

A passenger chatting in a car is less distracting, the researchers argue, because both stop talking when the driver needs to concentrate.

Image copyright pierrephoto

Alice Bailey, from road safety charity Brake, said: “These are life and death decisions, these extra three car lengths is the difference between a child dying and a child living and we just think the law needs to change.

“We need one clear law. All phones, hand-held and hands-free, need to be banned in cars – the only safe phone is one that is switched off.

“How important is any phone conversation that lives are lost?”

Kevin Clinton, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said he was not surprised by the study’s findings and also called for a law banning the use of hands-free phones in cars.

“Sadly, people continue to lose their lives on our roads in crashes caused by drivers who are distracted because they use a mobile phone,” he said.

“This can so easily be avoided by all drivers switching off their phones while driving, and only checking messages once they have stopped in a safe place.”

Have hands-free devices affected your driving? Tell us your experiences by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Or use the form below

Read more:

6 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes

You know that going to your doctor for regular checkups is important for your physical health, but have you run tests lately on your financial health? You don’t want to wait until you’re having money troubles to seek help. In fact, there may be things you’re doing now that seem like no big deal, but could seriously derail your finances.  We spoke to top financial planners about the six money red flags that may surprise you, and how to get back on track.

#1: You’re only focused on the big number

When you think about retiring, you probably have a certain number in mind in terms of how much money you’ll need to save before you can quit your job. While it’s good to have a specific goal, it can also get you into trouble. “People aren’t very good with big numbers,” says Spencer Betts, a financial planner at Bickling Financial Services in Lexington, MA. “They think, once I have a million bucks I can retire on that. But the mistake is not looking at your personal circumstances—a million dollars may not be enough to retire on.” If, for instance, you plan to move to an area that has a higher cost of living, such as along the coasts, your everyday expenses may actually be higher than you’re used to. Another big expense that people often fail to factor in realistically: healthcare. Betts advises his clients that they can expect to spend $240,000 on it alone over a 25- to 30-year period. 

So don’t just rely on that one magic number. Do a retirement analysis to see how much money you’ll really need. Start by checking out the retirement calculator on your brokerage’s web site or use the one from Vanguard. You’ll be asked to input your assets, your current income, what you expect to spend after retirement, etc. For more individualized advice, see a certified financial planner. 

#2: You can’t say no to your kids and grandkids

As a parent, you spent a lot of time saying “no” to your kids when they were growing up—there’s a reason why most children’s first word is no! But now that they’re adults, do you feel like you just can’t stop saying yes when they ask for money? And same goes for your grandkids? At least you’re not alone. “A lot of my clients are caught with kids who have their hands out asking, ‘Gee, can you help us with this new house or can you float us $50,000,'” says Larry Stein, founder and CEO of Disciplined Investment Management, in Deerfield, IL. “I think it’s somewhat of a new trend; I haven’t really seen it before,” he adds. 

The danger is that a lot of times, people give and give to their children and grandchildren, and lose track of how much they can actually afford. Or they falsely think that they simply can do without the money. Stein says that while a common formula for retirees is that they will live on 80 percent of their pre-retirement incomes, the fact is, many of his clients don’t actually have that much to live on because they’re helping their kids and grandkids financially. 

If you find yourself in this boat, first understand that it’s okay to say no sometimes. Remind yourself, and perhaps your kids and grandkids, that your priority is to not become a burden to them. And you don’t want to wait until you’re facing serious financial trouble before you speak up. Since you’re living on a fixed income, you simply may never be able to make up a deficit. Stein recommends sitting down and evaluating your finances year-to-year or event-to-event (for instance, if you suffer an illness). And remember, helping out doesn’t necessarily have to involve money. You could suggest that you babysit or take the grandkids to their soccer games, instead.  

#3: You underestimate how healthy you really are

The news headlines say that Americans are living longer thanks to modern advances. But when it comes to thinking about one’s own longevity, Betts says many people tend to get the math wrong. “People are pessimistic,” he says. “They underestimate how long they’re going to live.” That, in turn, means they also undersave.

If you, like a lot of Betts’s clients, tend to look at your grandparents as a gauge for how long you’ll live, its time to change your perception. In fact, Betts advises clients to assume they’re probably going to outlive their parents by a good 10 years. So instead of making the mistake of investing your money in “safe” products like bonds or a savings account, plan to have some money in stocks. It’s more likely to give you higher returns because of compound interest. One easy way to think about it is by using the rule of 72—take the percentage you think your stocks will earn, divide 72 by it, and that’s how many years it will take for your money to double. So if you think your portfolio is on track to earn 8 percent a year, it will take 9 years for your money to double. You’re unlikely to see that result with a savings account or bonds.

#4: You let your emotions drive your investments

Speaking of investing, do you find yourself biting your nails when the stock market goes down? Or worse, have you sold your stocks during a downturn before? You may think you’re avoiding further losses, but it’s actually a bad move. “One very common thing we see is when volatility is high, people get nervous and pull out of their equity holdings,” says Stein. It’s the exact opposite of what you should do, because when stocks are cheap, it’s the time to buy, not sell. Stein points out that historically, bear markets since the Great Depression recover their losses within a year. Even in the worst bear market—in 2008—if your money was, say, 60 percent in stocks and 40 percent in bonds, you would have made back your loss within two years. 

So when you get the jitters watching your portfolio go south during a market downturn, try to stay calm and remind yourself the worst thing you can do is panic and sell your holdings. Doing so actually means you’re locking in your losses. 

#5: Downsizing means simply less square footage to you

You’re finally ready to sell your house and you have your eye on a sweet condo in a nice retirement community. Just think of all the money you’ll save when you’re in a one-bedroom with no lawn to mow. Not so fast. Just because you have less space doesn’t mean you have less expenses. “While it’s a smaller home size-wise, the cost differential may not be that different, because of all the added costs of these kinds of communities,” says Stein. “You’ve downsized physically but you may not have downsized financially.” Developers are catering to Boomers with communities that offer all kinds of perks like health clubs, golf, a pool, and more. And all these extras add up.  

Don’t just look at the rent when you’re comparing properties. Factor in the maintenance fees and costs for other services that you’re interested in. Remember, unlike a mortgage, your rent is not tax deductible so you won’t get a break there. Look at the total picture of what you’re downsizing to. If reducing your financial commitment is the primary goal, don’t get carried away by a property’s bells and whistles.

#6: You’ve gone into travel overdrive

Everyone wants to mark his retirement in some way. And for many of us, the trip of a lifetime sounds perfect. But now’s not the time for a spare-no-expense attitude. In fact, while you may feel you should “live it up,” failing to stick to a budget could well make life harder financially. 

People often don’t think that one trip could affect their savings much. But Stein points out that a big expense coming at the beginning of retirement can be especially hard to recover from. When you reduce your assets at the beginning of retirement, you’re reducing the overall amount of money you have working for you to earn returns on your investments. And that could affect how much money you have in the long run. “I have clients for whom we’ve allocated a certain amount for a trip and they come back saying they got kind of carried away,” says Stein. “But that’s a real impact on their financial plan and we have to recalibrate everything.” 

Remember: Even though you may have fewer financial obligations later in life, you have less earning power, too. So while you should relax and enjoy life as much as possible, you still need to stay vigilant about your finances.

Read more from

7 Unexpected Items You Can Haggle For

7 Best Coupon Apps Right Now

9 Ways to Get Top Dollar for Your Home

Read more: