Using techniques like search engine optimization can help your site shoot to the top of Google search results.(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Q: What’s the secret to getting on the first page of the Google search results? I want to create something but no one visits my site.
A: This is a big question. It’s so big, in fact, that thousands of people dedicate their careers to figuring out how to make websites stick out on the internet. It’s vital to have a relevant and well designed website. You may already be familiar with the term “search engine optimization,” or SEO. The best websites use keywords, social media, and searchable headers to make themselves visible. You can also use online marketing and interactive tools to draw people in. The most important thing these days is to stay active; the internet is an ever-changing landscape, and you have to work to keep up. Click here for 10 secrets for nailing search results.
Shed light on the “Dark Web”
Q: I keep hearing about the “Dark Web.” But what exactly is it? How do you get to it?
A: It sounds sinister, doesn’t it? “Dark Web” might make a good title for the next Dan Brown novel. But the “Dark Web” is basically just a portion of the internet that isn’t completely public and you need special software to access. Many newbies use the terms “Dark Web” and “Deep Web” interchangeably, but they are two very different things. When you think of creepy and illegal shenanigans, you’re probably thinking of the “Dark Web.” Anyone can access this online nook if they do the extra legwork, but it's best to avoid. The “Deep Web,” on the other hand, is designed for security and privacy that the “surface” internet does not have. The Deep Web can't be accessed by a search engine, and consists mostly of data stored on private networks of corporations. Click here to learn more about the Dark Web and the many myths surrounding it.
Holiday travelers (Photo: Tom Tingle, AP)
App lets you skip airport security lines
Q: I heard you tell a caller that she could skip the security line at airports with an app. Can you please tell me more?
A: This is correct. Before you get too excited, remember that you still have to scan your luggage and step through the metal detector, just like every other passenger. But if you’re flying internationally, you can skip through U.S. Customs and Border Protection with an app called “Mobile Passport.” If you’ve ever flown to the U.S. from another country, you know how exhausting this process can be. American entry points are some of the busiest and most thoroughly policed in the world, and the lines can be hundreds of people deep. Click here to learn how Mobile Passport will expedite this process.
Erase private data on old PC
Q: I am getting a new PC for Christmas. How do I make sure all my personal information is off the old one before I donate or sell it?
A: I’m so glad you asked this question, because so many people get rid of their old computers without even thinking about what’s on it. Or they delete a few files and believe that their personal information is safe. First, make sure to transfer all the information you wish to keep into the new computer. Take all the time you need for this, because you will never be able to get it again. Then you want to pull up Darik’s Boot and Nuke. Click here to find out how DBAN works, and the tricks for using it effectively.
The Drive PX2 board. (Photo: Nvidia)
Signs hard drive is failing
Q: I know when my car runs out of gas it won’t go anymore. How do you know if your hard drive is failing?
A: That’s a good metaphor, but a failing hard drive is a little more serious than just running out of gas. It’s more like the “check engine” light coming on, or even the car stalling out for no reason. Like that aging clunker, a computer will usually show signs of age, like software glitches, a noisy fan, or just really slow operations. Most people will want something more precise, which is why your motherboard has its own monitoring system. Click here to learn how to instantly assess your hard drive’s health.
Looking for more ways to protect your privacy or make money online? Be sure to listen or download my podcasts, or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.
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Learn about all the latest technology 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 Komando.com.