12 Tech Don'ts

Take heed of these common tech accidents to keep your gadgets safe and in top shape.

Photo By: jwblinn

Using Devices in the Bathroom

I know you won't admit it, but chances are high that you use your smartphone while in the bathroom. This is asking for a water-soaked device. If a text or Instagram upload really can't wait a couple minutes, I recommend a lifejacket for your phone in the form of a waterproof case. You'll thank me when your phone goes for an inopportune swim.

Unprotected Tablet

I guarantee once you've left an unprotected tablet in a bag and a stray, sharp object scratches the screen, you'll be unable to see anything else but that dastardly scrape. Arm the tablet with a scratch-proof screen so all subsequent movie-viewing and web-surfing will be distraction-free.

Eating at Your Desk

Your mouse pad attracts as much dirt and grease as a keyboard, especially if there's greasy pizza nearby. And crumbs can get into the bottom of your mouse, making it tough to track properly. If you have a fabric mouse pad, wipe it down with a microfiber cloth and a little amount of mild soap.

Crumb-Filled Keyboard

Eating at your desk not only robs you of a well-earned break, it makes your tech gear pretty grimey. Blast crumbs away with several sprays of compressed air, or use a cotton swab to get hard to reach areas.

Digital Eye Strain

Taking a step away from screens is essential to give your eyes a break from a monitor's harsh glare. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a break for 20 seconds and look at something 20 feet away. Software programs that optimize the glow of your screen to reduce eye strain can make things even better.

Losing Data

Are all your photos sitting on your computer or smartphone's hard drive? Don't risk losing data if the device crashes. Back up precious media not only to an external hard drive, but also to a cloud service. Many online storage offerings like Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud will autosync files to their servers with every photo you take. No more excuses for losing it all!

Using the Same Password

Every week it seems there's a new report of a website hack. Outsmart cyber criminals and regularly change passwords across all your many online accounts. Don't reuse passwords, and try to make an intricate one with capital letters, numbers and words that have nothing to do with your personal information.

Keeping Your Phone in Heat

Gadgets are sensitive creatures and wilt in extreme temperatures. A phone left on the dashboard of a car may see shortened battery life or malfunctioning operation. Most manufacturers advise an operating temperature between 32-95 degrees Fahrenheit. Limit your phone use on a hot day so the device doesn't get hotter than it is already.

Ignoring the Surge

They may not be the most fashionable tech accessory, but a surge protector will be your knight in shining armor should a storm or electricity surge ever pass through your home — two events that could seriously damage any electronics plugged in the wall. Keep gadgets secure by plugging them into a surge protector with multiple outlets and a light that signals when a power surge has occurred.

No Geolocation

Whether it's lost, stolen or just under the couch cushions, tech companies have finally given us a way to battle the search of a missing smartphone. Both iPhones and Android phones include tracking software, which when enabled, locates your device.

Cleaning Tech With Household Cleaners

Put the all-purpose glass and window cleaner down. As shiny as it makes bathroom counters, it'll ruin devices. Concoct a solution of 50/50 alcohol to water, and spray it sparingly on a microfiber cloth before wiping the device. The screen will get clean and retain all its touch sensitivities.

Not Protecting Your Phone

Alright, butterfingers. I know how it goes; these slim devices slip so easily through hands. Get yourself a tough, rubberized case that can handle the bumps and bruises of daily life.