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’re always plugged in
Don’t get into the (bad) habit of plugging in your phone when the battery isn’t full.
Apple says battery health can be affected when your iPhone “left(s) fully charged for long periods of time.”
The same advice goes for Androids. Samsung says not to leave your phone connected to the charger for long periods or overnight.
Are you charging your phone incorrectly?
Huawei says, “Keeping your battery level as close to the middle (30%-70%) as possible 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 only start charging again once they reach a certain battery level.
But unplug your devices once they are fully charged.
2. You wait too long to charge your laptop
If you frequently let your laptop battery run out of juice, it decreases its expected lifespan. Like phones, laptop batteries are only meant to be charged a certain number of times.
Your laptop battery can also lose its efficiency in other ways. Say you regularly charge your laptop 30-50%, or about 20% each time.
Do this five times and you will have completed a battery cycle because you will have charged your laptop to 100%.
A good rule of thumb? Keep your battery charged to at least 40% most of the time.
If you frequently let your laptop battery run out of juice, it decreases its expected lifespan
Pro tip: Don’t always leave your laptop connected to a charging cord, either. It can also reduce battery life.
Want to know how your laptop battery is doing? This tip tells you when you might need to replace it. check it out here.
3. You are superficial
Wiping fingerprints off your screen isn’t enough.
Dirt, dust, and other grime can accumulate in ports, speakers, and other small crevices on almost all of our everyday devices. Don’t just ignore the mess – clean it up the right way.
You might be tempted to reach for a toothpick or cotton swab since you have them handy. Be careful.
The fragile ends of toothpicks can break into your electronics or even damage small speakers. Cotton swabs often leave behind hard-to-remove lint.
follow this smart plan to clean your phone inside and out.
4. Your phone is getting too much sun
Most smartphones are rugged. Yours can probably withstand dust and a little 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 you could even lose or corrupt your data.
Extremely cold temperatures are also harsh. Lithium-ion batteries can stop discharging electricity in freezing temperatures.
This can shorten your battery life, cause display issues, and even crack the screen glass. Ouch!
Don’t leave your wifi router open to hackers
5. Your router is wide open
You’d be surprised how many people have never changed their router’s default password. Wrong move.
Of course, someone can more Easily mooch your Wi-Fi, but a particularly malicious hacker can use your network to attack your gadgets. They might even download dangerous files or visit illegal websites through your router.
First step: create an original password that is difficult to decipher. You can change this on your router’s administration page. Need help? here’s how.
While you’re there, search for “Remote Administration”. This allows you to connect to your router over the internet and manage it.
If you’ve ever called tech support, you might have experienced something similar: a technician talks to you on the phone, then uses your computer as if it’s sitting right next to you.
Remote administration is a handy tool, especially when troubleshooting a problem, but it makes your computer vulnerable to hackers.
Unless you need it, disable this feature. You can find it in your router settings, usually under “Remote Administration”.
You can always turn it back on when needed. The last thing you need is to invite strangers to your home network.
Kim Komando hosts a weekly phone show where she gives tips on tech gadgets, websites, smartphone apps, and internet security.