Vizio smart TV file

Smart TVs are great displays attached to a computer — and are vulnerable to viruses. AP file

Smart TV viruses

Q: Please help me solve a debate. I say my smart TV can get bit by malware and viruses. My buddy says I am a dope. Who’s right? A six-pack is riding on your answer!

A: Smart TVs have gotten flak since they were first released and for good reason. These devices have allegedly sent reports on personal viewing back to data companies, which means that the TV you watch … is watching you. But now there’s this: Smart TVs can contract malicious viruses. You win! Because a smart TV is really a great display connected to a computer, it’s not a surprise that it can get viruses. Samsung TV’s run their proprietary software, and some models have pre-loaded security software. Tap or click to learn how to check for viruses on smart TVs.

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Scary app for parents

Q: Have you heard about an app called Yolo that teens are secretly using?

A: I have heard of Yolo, and like millions of parents, I am deeply concerned. Snapchat is already an uncomfortable app in the hands of teenagers, and Yolo connects to it and lets kids send each other comments and photos anonymously. While online privacy is important, this kind of faceless communication can lead to cyberbullying, predatory behavior and other destructive activities that many adolescents aren’t equipped to handle. Although the developers insist that the app is harmless and provides a healthy community, I am skeptical, and you should be, too. Tap or click to learn more about the anonymous app gaining popularity among teens.

Emergency phone settings

Q: Is there a setting on my parents’ phones that I can use so emergency responders can have access to their medical info? They’re getting older, and I’m worried.

A: Many people with chronic health conditions wear medical bracelets, and that little sliver of metal could easily save someone’s life, even after the first responders arrive. Not surprisingly, a smartphone can do you one better: You can program your phone to display certain allergies and conditions without unlocking your screen. This ability doesn’t cost you anything, and many paramedics are trained to check phones for information the moment they arrive on the scene. For example, you may be taking beta blockers, or you’re hyper-sensitive to latex, or you have a seizure disorder. Tap or click to activate medical information on the locked screen.

Bitcoin for Facebook?

Q: I heard that Facebook is getting into the cryptocurrency businesses? What does that mean?

A: If you know anything about cryptocurrency, you probably think of Bitcoin, the monetary system that exists only online. Bitcoin has made a lot of headlines over the years, for its mere existence, but also for web-savvy people who have made, and lost, a great deal of money. But like everything Facebook does, the new cryptocurrency called Libra will appeal to everyday people, not just maverick investors. Facebook has already become heavily involved in the populist banking business, thanks to its associations with Paypal and the ability to instantly send money through Messenger. This cryptocurrency was probably inevitable. I will not be personally investing a cent, but I won’t blame anyone for being curious. Tap or click here to learn more about Facebook’s new digital currency.


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