KIM KOMANDO

5 ways you’re ruining your expensive phone, laptop, tablet and TV

Apr 3, 2022, 5:00 AM
(Unsplash Photo)...
(Unsplash Photo)
(Unsplash Photo)

How many smartphones have you dropped and shattered? It’s an awful feeling — seeing it falling to the ground and knowing there’s nothing you can do.

Years ago, I put a tempered glass screen protector on my phone. The best part is when you drop your phone, and the glass gets nicked, you simply remove the protector and it’s good as new. Here’s a link to the brand I have used for years, ESR.

Our devices are big investments. You need to treat your tech well to get your money’s worth. Regular maintenance is one way to stay ahead of the game. Tap or click for six checkups to do now to avoid a hefty repair bill later.

Based on calls to my show, emails, and questions posted on my website’s tech support forum, here are five common mistakes that could cost you.

1. You’re charging too much

Do you keep your phone plugged in all the time? Apple says that when your iPhone “remain(s) at full charge for prolonged periods of time, battery health can be affected.”

Android phone manufacturers, including Samsung, say the same. “Do not leave your phone connected to the charger for long periods of time or overnight.” Huawei says, “Keeping your battery level as close to the middle (30% to 70%) as possible can effectively prolong the battery life.”

The official word is to keep your phone charged — but not fully charged. Get in the habit of unplugging your tech after it is fully charged.

2. You wait too long to charge your laptop

Laptop batteries have a finite number of charge-discharge cycles. If you frequently let your battery entirely run out of juice, it affects the charge-discharge cycle and diminishes its intended lifespan.

Your laptop battery can also lose efficiency another way. Let’s say you regularly charge your laptop from 30% to 50%, or about 20% each time you charge it. Well, do that five times and you’ll have completed one battery cycle because you’ve charged your laptop 100% in total.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your battery charged to at least 40% most of the time. Tap or click here to check your laptop’s battery health.

3. You go with the cheapest option

If you lose your charger or a USB cable gets frayed, resist the temptation to buy the cheapest replacement. The few dollars you save on a low-cost substitute may very likely negatively affect your device’s performance.

One-size-fits-all charger and cable makers don’t want you to know that often their products do not have the proper voltage needed to work with your specific device. Why does that matter? Your battery may end up not getting the juice it needs to charge fully. Worse, it may erode the battery’s life.

Cheap chargers can be dangerous to you, too. Many generic phone chargers are less likely to meet established safety and quality testing guidelines than their name-brand counterparts, leading to severe shocks and burns.

Spend a little more on getting a replacement charger and cable from the devices’ manufacturer or certified third-party makers. Tap or click for a solid third-party recommendation for iPhone and Android.

4. You’re careless

Today’s phones are fairly rugged. They can generally resist water, dust, and a bit of water. But leaving your device in a hot car or out in the sun can cause serious damage. Not only can it cause the battery to leak or overheat, but it can also cause data to be lost or corrupted.
Extreme cold temperatures also wreak havoc on your phone.

Lithium-ion batteries can stop discharging electricity in freezing temperatures, leading to shortened battery life, display problems, and even cracking the display glass.

5. You’re a slob

Is your tech sparkling clean or covered in crumbs and smudges? It’s not just about cleanliness, either. Dust and dirt can do severe damage to computers, TVs, and other expensive electronics.

Here are some essential tools I keep on hand to maintain my devices:

Compressed air: This is especially useful when you need to clean tight quarters and inside difficult-to-reach crevices. If you don’t like the waste of regular compressed air, try an electric air duster.
● Isopropyl alcohol: Avoid household cleaning products on your electronic devices. A good rule of thumb is if you would use it to clean your kitchen, it’s not appropriate for your computer or electronics.
● Cleaning wipes: If you don’t want to mess with alcohol or water, try a cleaning wipe. I buy these all the time.
● Distilled or purified bottled water: Tap water could leave mineral spots and stains.
● Soft cloths: Lint-free is your friend; don’t use paper towels or tissues that scratch and leave particles behind. If you have a 100% cotton cloth, that works, too. Here’s an affordable pack of clothes I’ve purchased a few times.
● Toothbrush: A soft toothbrush can be used on hard-to-reach areas and spots that need light scrubbing.

When you’re ready to give your tech a nice spring cleaning, I can help. Tap or click here for my tested steps to clean ports, earbuds, keyboards, screens, and printers.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Kim Komando

(Pexels Photo)...
Kim Komando

3 tech steps you should have in place before you die

It’s a grim topic, but in today’s digital age, we have to plan for what happens to all our online accounts, data, notes, photos, videos, websites, playlists, blogs, and subscriptions once we’re gone.
5 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kim Komando

Secret words that tech support pros use to describe you

Tech support is a difficult, frustrating, and often thankless job. Like most professionals, IT folks have their own lingo. Here are 10 insider words that you might hear to describe you.
12 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kim Komando

Save a little time and use your voice to control the TV

Time-saving principles can be applied to your TV. You can speak to search for movies, control the volume, pause, rewind, skip to the next episode, and more.
19 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kim Komando

This is how Facebook knows so much about you and how you can stop it

On Facebook, your activity speaks volumes. The social networking website also knows what you do elsewhere because you might have connected apps sharing your data. You can stop that.
26 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Kim Komando

5 dangerous cybersecurity mistakes you’re probably making

Don't think you're too smart to fall for the tricks of cybercrooks. Here are five simple, effective ways to secure your smartphone.
1 month ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kim Komando

10 handy gadgets worth buying that you didn’t know you needed

In the consumer tech world, there's always something new to buy. Here are 10 standouts that you'll genuinely use and appreciate.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]
...
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
5 ways you’re ruining your expensive phone, laptop, tablet and TV