It’s that time of year again! Everyone is running around getting their Christmas shopping done, and heading back home for the holidays. Christmas music is playing non-stop on the radio until you can’t get it out of your head. With all of this running around, it seems like a lot of people tend to forget to take care of their portable devices which they rely on so much. Especially with this time of the year and the cold weather, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so we will list some tips for keeping your mobile devices operational and secure.
Temperature does matter!
While this winter hasn’t been the harshest we’ve seen here in Alberta, it still poses a risk to your sensitive electronic devices. Forgetting your device in a freezing car overnight, for example, can cause all sorts of negative effects to the longevity and function of your smartphone or tablet. Components such as the screen or battery are not designed to be in freezing temperatures for an extended period of time prior to being turned on and used. This sudden change of temperature could cause your battery to leak, your screen to crack, or condensation to build up in the lining of the screen. Just remember to always be mindful of what you leave in your car! If it at all possible, carry everything in a laptop bag or your pocket, and bring it inside rather than leaving it in luggage outdoors.
Security, Security, Security.
With all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to leave your phone at the counter when paying for groceries or your laptop sitting at an airport terminal. To protect your personal information, always ensure your passwords or pin codes on all devices are set up with a strong password, and that they are changed regularly. You never know who might be watching and waiting to snatch up your devices when you’re least expecting it! Statistically, this time of year sees an increase in small petty crimes, so you want to be extra aware of your surroundings and of the location of your devices. Also, be mindful of any open public Wi-Fi hotspots that you connect to. The word public will obviously mean any person can connect to that Wi-Fi and potentially gain access to any devices connected to that network. Only connect to a network that you know is monitored and secured, such as an official airport Wi-Fi, and not just some random access point called “PLZ ConnECT FrEe wIfI”.
Oh, your device broke. Did you back it up?
Even the most cautious people make mistakes! You’re running around the house or getting out of your car, not really paying attention, and then suddenly your phone slips out of a pocket or is brushed off of a table. Virtually everyone knows the pain of hearing their $1,000 device made of glass, plastic, and lightweight metal hitting a hard floor or concrete. If you’re lucky, you dust off your phone and continue with your day. If you’re unlucky, you may need to begin the painful process of moving all of your files, photos, contacts, and apps over to a new device. The best way to protect yourself, beyond purchasing a protective case, is to have current back-ups of your device.
Here is some information on how to keep your phone backed up, for either Apple or Android phones.
iPhone users – users who have an iPhone device will be happy to know by simply plugging your phone into a personal computer that has iTunes installed, they will be able to back up their data and apps directly to their own personal cloud using their Apple ID. This makes it as simple as plugging in a new phone to your computer to re-download all your data and information back onto your replacement phone.
Go to this link for more detailed information.
Android users – users who have an Android have a few different options available to them in terms of backing up their device. Depending on the phone, some will have the option in the settings to back up your data to your Google account or just download it straight to your computer by plugging in through USB. Whether you back up through the Google Cloud or your computer, other third party applications also exist that can assist with this process. Most applications will charge a few dollars to purchase and install, but offer unique features such as automatic backups on a schedule or choosing where these backups are being stored to.
Hopefully this list of things to remember will help alleviate or altogether prevent any heart-dropping moments during your holiday season. This time of season is for giving to others, rather than spending money to replace devices that shouldn’t need to be replaced in the first place.
NOC Technician – Pod Alpha