Kim Komando column: Cloud drives a safe option to store data

11:37 PM, Apr. 1, 2013  |  Comments
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Q: I know everyone is pushing the cloud, but I don't trust it. Is my data really safe when I put it up there?

A: For the most part, yes. The more popular cloud companies - Dropbox (iTunes/Android), Google Drive, Amazon, etc. - have very advanced servers that you can usually trust for reliability. You're much more likely to have your own computer crash than for those companies to have a total server meltdown, although the occasional outage isn't unexpected. Now, you do have to worry a little bit about security. Between hacks on high-profile sites and companies like Google giving your data to law enforcement, you might think twice. However, most of those realities are true of any online service, and you're just one out of millions of users. Just make sure you know how a company responds to these privacy concerns before you use any of its services.

Q: I'm shopping for a new HDTV. I keep seeing stuff on the boxes that say "more than one-hundred percent of the color spectrum." How is that even possible?

A: I don't blame you for being confused. HDTVs use a color gamut called ITU-R Recommendation BT.709 or Rec.709 for short. That's the standard used to create most video. It doesn't display every color the eye can see, just most of the common ones. TV manufacturers will try to outdo this by displaying more than the required gamut. They want you to believe this will lead to a better picture, but it often leads to over-saturation of color. The best test for color isn't any marketing ploy, but your own eye. Use that to judge your HDTV's color. If you want to make the colors better, you can calibrate your display with THX's app and TweakTV.

Q: I've gotten in trouble recently for missing a couple of important emails from my boss. How can I make sure I see those emails before I see any others?

A: Most email services allow you to set up filters for incoming email. Some even let you color code and label your email with ease. Set up a folder labeled "Urgent" and direct any email from your boss' email address to that folder. Then, set up a "Read Later" folder for mail that you don't have to respond to right away. If you want more advanced filtering options, use programs like Outlook or the free Thunderbird. They have filtering features that you won't find in Web mail. They're also great for handling multiple email accounts in one location.

Q: I heard that Google keeps my search history. Is this true? Can I delete it?

A: Yes and yes. You can find what sort of history Google has on you at You might have to sign in with your Google account to see everything. Click the checkbox next to any item and click "Remove item" to get rid of it. Once your information is removed, click the gear icon in the upper right corner and choose Settings. Select Turn off your Web history to stop most of Google's recording. However, Google will still keep some things for its own use. To stop it completely, switch to a more anonymous search engine like DuckDuckGo.

- Email Kim Komando at

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports