by Burton Kelso, Integral Computer Consultants
The summer months are probably some of the best months out of the year. I know I am constantly looking for ways to fill my free time with outdoor festivals, cookouts, days at the beach or the pool, day trips and full-blown vacations. I'm sure you're not aware that the summer months are also a dangerous time for your smart devices.
Our devices go everywhere with us and in all of our summer activities, there's an increased chance that something catastrophic will happen to our smartphone and laptops. I don't want to freak you out and make you stay indoors this summer, so I am sharing some tips to help your phone and other devices avoid the summertime blues.
1. Heat is the #1 Enemy of Your Devices. I hope by now you realize smartphones and tablets are basically mini computers. Like computers, parts such as the CPU and other crucial chips don’t work well when they get hot.
When they do overheat, it can shorten the life of the device and even permanently ruin them. Computers and video game consoles have built-in fans to keep these devices cool, but smartphones don’t have fans.
In most situations, if your devices become overheated, you will get a warning on the screen of the device. When you get a warning, turn your phone or tablet off immediately.
Avoid using your devices in direct sunlight. If possible, use them only in shaded areas. Also, never leave your smartphone, laptop or tablet in a hot car ... unless you're looking for an excuse to have to purchase a new device.
2. Believe it or not, smartphones can’t swim. Yes, I know modern smartphones are water-resistant, but that doesn't mean water can't harm them. You probably always take care to make sure your devices don't fall in the toilet, take extra care when you're at the local watering hole, pool or ocean and make sure your devices stay dry. For extra protection, get yourself a Vanksy Floatable, waterproof case which will keep your smartphone dry, but will also stay afloat.
3. Yes, Someone Wants to Steal Your Phone. During the summer months, there is a 50% increase in stolen phones and other devices. What can you do to protect yourself? First, keep your phone and other devices near you. Avoid the temptation to leave your devices unattended.
Next, modify your smartphone so your contact information on the lock screen. This way, if your phone is lost, a good Samaritan can get your phone back you. To do that, take a photo of a label with your contact information on it. Make sure to include your alternate phone number or email address.
To get the information on your lock screen, on your smartphone, go to Settings > Wallpaper and Themes. Select your contact information image, then press Set as Wallpaper > Lock Screen. It's also an excellent idea to enable Apple's 'Find My iPhone' or Google's 'Find My Device' on your tablet or smartphone.
Both of these devices, use GPS technology that will enable you to locate your lost device anywhere in the world. Finally, don’t assume the worst has happened to your devices. You'd be surprised to know many folks don’t call the last few locations where they accidentally lost or left their phones, thinking there’s little chance of getting them back.
It's shocking how many lost and found places have drawers full of lost phones waiting for owners to reclaim them.
4. Prepare for the worst. So let's say the sun bakes your gadgets, your phone takes a swim or your devices disappear off the face of the Earth. You might have deep pockets so purchasing a new device isn't a big deal to you or you have a great device insurance plan. That doesn't get all of your pictures, music and documents back, right? Well, your best disaster plan should be a constant backup of your smart devices information.
Both Apple and Android have solid cloud backup plans that will automatically back your devices up. If you aren't signed up with iCloud or Google Drive backup, you need to set that up immediately .... or are soon are you're doing reading this article.
If you're like me, your life is on your smart devices. Understand the risks that are out there threatening your devices and make sure you're taking steps to protect them. At Integral, we're constantly getting calls from people like you who have had a smartphone or other device catastrophe. Enjoy your summer and take steps to make sure you can enjoy your devices in years to come.
Burton Kelso is the Chief Technology Expert at Integral. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel.
Contact Integral Computer Consultants at 888-256-0829 or www.integralcomputerconsultants.com.