Protect Your Electronics
How to safeguard your devices from theft, water damage, and general wear and tear.
Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other electronics are expensive to replace. Stretch your dollars by protecting those devices from theft, as well as common mishaps that lead to early destruction.
Keep a low profile to help deter thieves from snatching your expensive electronics. Take these precautions:
- Use caution in public places. Keep your devices out of sight when you’re not using them, and always be aware of your surroundings.
- Never leave devices unattended—even when they’re under lock and key. Thieves can smash the windows of locked cars to retrieve laptops, smartphones, and GPS navigation devices in plain sight.
- Carry devices in a nondescript bag or case. This may help prevent a thief from noticing and stealing the item.
If you plan to travel with electronics, play it safe with this advice.
Prevent Water Damage
Avoid using electronics around water, and store your device in a water-resistant case. If an accident happens and your device isn’t protected, act quickly to avoid a total loss:
- Shut off and unplug the device. This keeps it from short-circuiting.
- Remove any obstructions. To prevent water from reaching all components, remove the battery, headphones, and the SIM and memory cards.
- Drain the water. Get as much water out of the device as possible by tilting it, shaking it or sucking out the moisture with a vacuum cleaner attachment. Don’t use a blow dryer as that will force moisture into the device.
- Take it apart. Follow the operating manual’s instructions for disassembling the device, removing parts such as the battery and SIM card, if possible.
- Let it dry. Store the device in an area with excellent air circulation, and use a fan to help speed up the process. Consider placing the device in a zip-top storage bag with silica gel packets or uncooked rice to draw out moisture.
- Wait. Give the device a few days to dry out, then reassemble it and turn it back on.
Prevent Wear and Tear
Take care of your device to maximize its lifespan. Some pointers:
- Invest in a protective case. You can choose from a variety of materials, such as hard plastic or rubber, which offer different levels of protection. Clear-plastic protectors help prevent fragile screens from cracking and shattering.
- Be careful in extreme temperatures. If your device has been in extreme cold or heat for an extended period, let it warm or cool to room temperature before using it.
- Keep computers in well-ventilated areas. If your desktop or laptop computer feels hot, there may be dust inside the machine. Clean the fans regularly with compressed air, and use a laptop cooling pad to allow for proper air flow.