15 tech tricks you’ll wish you knew sooner

Most gadgets don’t come with a user manual that describes every single feature. We learn them by doing it when someone spills the beans, or asks, “How did you do that?”

For example, no one even thinks about going into the settings of a new router. The more connected devices you have, the more important this step is. Tap or click here for some essential steps to make sure your files, data and network are safe from hackers and spying.

Even more important for your safety is your smartphone. In an emergency, dialing 911 isn’t your only option. Tap or click to set up emergency iPhone and Android features that could one day save your life. Please do it now before you need it.

Let’s jump into 15 tech tricks and hacks. knowledge is power. Share your tricks with me here on Twitter.com/KimKomando.

1. Share Nest Cam Video Feed
The Nest Cam is great for receiving live video streams, viewing any past events, and getting instant motion and sound alerts. Many people are unaware that you can easily share the view of Nest Cam. I allowed my sisters to watch my mother’s Nest Cam in her living room.

The big deal is how you share the video stream. Do not select public links. This means that anyone with the link can watch the stream without a password.

Use the option of password protected links. That way, only people to whom you give both the link and the password receive the video stream, and others won’t have access to your Nest Home and devices connected to it. Ten people will be able to watch the video stream simultaneously.

If you ever want to stop sharing your camera, click the Stop Sharing Camera button.

2. Built-in Dictation
Do you send messages with Siri or the Google Assistant? This is a big time saver. You can also use built-in dictation on your computer.

It is very easy on Windows PC.

Pro Tip: For best results, be sure to speak your desired punctuation mark. You can start an email with, “Hey Kim Koma I love your radio show duration.”

Become a Tech Superstar: Did you know you can get my digital life tips straight to your inbox? Try my free Tech Tips and How-To newsletter.

3. Turn your phone into a security camera
Don’t have a security system? There is no problem. Turn your phone, laptop, desktop computer or tablet into a motion-activated security camera with just a few clicks using Critter.camera.

This simple site uses your device’s camera to capture any motion after a 2-minute calibration test. Any motion is captured as images which you can then download. No data is sent over the Internet; Everything is stored locally on your device. Tap or click for the direct link and more information.

4. Create a Secret World of Conversations with Your iPhone
Tap into your inner James Bond with Secret Communications – without the message coming in your regular text messages. All you have to do is make a note and share it with anyone you want to chat with.

The person you added to the note can make changes just like you. You can now communicate privately, and it won’t appear in your text messages.

Notes app is full of tricks. Did you know that it has a built-in scanner feature? Tap or click for steps on how to scan a document with your phone.

5. Use Post-Its for Useful Reasons
Keyboards are magnets for dirt and grime, especially if you eat at your desk. If you don’t have any compressed air, clean your keyboard with the sticky part of a Post-It note.

Run it through each row of your keys. You will be both surprised and disappointed to see all the junk picked up by it. If dust collects at the corners, use a pair of tweezers to pull it out.

Spring cleans your technology from the inside too. I found seven useful tools you can try.

6. Open a New Tab
Want to open tabs to read later? Hover over the hyperlink and click the wheel of your mouse. It automatically opens that link in a new tab, placing you on your current screen.

Sorry, laptop users. You still have to use the menu to select Open link in new tab.

7. Store Digital Signatures on Your Mac
You do not need Adobe Acrobat to sign a digital document. It’s easy to create a virtual signature that you can use on a Mac using the Preview app.

From there you have two options. Sign in using your trackpad or sign your name on a white piece of paper and place it on your webcam.

Use Windows computer? Tap or click here to follow the steps for creating a digital signature. Scroll down to number 4.

8. Use Your Pencil Eraser for Something Useful
If you own any Apple tech, you probably have some dirty white charging cables lying around.

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