Tuesday, November 28

I am a technology expert. These Silly Mistakes We’re All Guilty Of Killing Your Expensive Devices

You wouldn’t buy a nice car and skip oil changes. So why do we treat our technology so badly?

If you want your expensive phone, computer, and everything else to last, keep reading.

1. You are always connected

Don’t fall into the (bad) habit of plugging in your phone when the battery is not full.

Apple says that battery health can be affected when your iPhone “remains on a full charge for extended periods of time.”

The same advice applies to Android. Samsung says not to leave your phone connected to the charger for long periods of time or overnight.

Are you charging your phone wrong?

Are you charging your phone wrong?

Huawei says: “Keeping the battery level as close to the middle as possible (30 percent to 70 percent) can effectively extend battery life.”

The official word is to keep your phone charged, but not fully charged all the time.

The good news is that most devices are smart enough to start charging again only once they reach a certain battery level.

But please unplug your devices after they are fully charged.

2. You wait too long to charge your laptop

If you frequently let your laptop battery drain completely, you will decrease its expected lifespan. Just like phones, laptop batteries are only designed to be charged that many times.

Your laptop battery can lose efficiency in another way, too. Let’s say you regularly charge your laptop from 30 to 50 percent, or about 20 percent at a time.

Do that five times, and you’ve completed a battery cycle because you’ve charged your laptop to 100 percent.

A good rule of thumb? Keep your battery charged to at least 40 percent most of the time.

If you frequently let your laptop battery drain completely, you decrease its expected lifespan

If you frequently let your laptop battery drain completely, you decrease its expected lifespan

Pro tip: Don’t always keep your laptop connected to a charging cable, either. This can also shorten battery life.

Do you want to know how your laptop battery is? This trick shows you when you might need to replace it. Check it here.

3. You are superficial

Cleaning fingerprints from the screen is not enough.

Dirt, dust, and other debris can accumulate in ports, speakers, and other small crevices in almost all of our everyday devices. Don’t ignore the mess, clean it up the right way.

You may be tempted to grab a toothpick or Q-tip since you have them nearby. Be careful.

The brittle ends of toothpicks can break on your electronic devices or even damage small speakers. Q-tips often leave lint behind that is difficult to remove.

Follow this smart plan of attack to clean your phone inside and out.

4. Your phone gets too much sun

Most smartphones are rugged. Yours can probably withstand dust and a bit of water. One thing it’s not designed for is sweltering temperatures.

Leaving your phone in a hot car or in the sun can cause serious damage. The battery could overheat and even lose or damage your data.

Extremely cold temperatures are also difficult. Lithium ion batteries may stop discharging electricity in subzero temperatures.

This can shorten battery life, cause screen issues, and even break the glass on the screen. Oh!

Don't leave your wifi router open to hackers

Don’t leave your wifi router open to hackers

5. Your router is fully open

You’d be surprised how many people never changed their router’s default password. Bad move.

Sure, someone can more easily usurp your Wi-Fi, but a particularly nefarious hacker can use your network to attack your devices. They might even download dangerous files or visit illegal websites through your router.

Step One – Create an original password that is difficult to crack. You can change this on your router’s admin page. Need help? That is how.

While you’re at it, look for ‘Remote Administration’. This allows you to log in to your router over the Internet and manage it.

If you’ve ever called tech support, you may have experienced something similar: a tech talks to you on the phone, then operates your computer as if they were sitting right next to you.

Remote administration is a useful tool, especially when a problem is fixed, but it leaves your computer vulnerable to hackers.

Unless you need to, disable this feature. You can find this in your router’s settings, usually under the “Remote Management” heading.

You can always turn it back on if the need arises. The last thing you need is to invite strangers to your home network.

Kim Komando hosts a weekly call-in show where he provides tips on tech gadgets, websites, smartphone apps, and internet safety.

Listen on more than 425 radio stations or get the podcast. And join over 400,000 people who get your free 5 minute daily email newsletter.

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