it’s beginning to feel like summer here in Massachusetts + Rhode Island, and temperatures (and humidity) will only continue to rise. With the new hybrid work environments taking precedent and the summer vacation season beginning, some folks often overlook how to use and take care of their technology during the hot sticky months whether at home or traveling on vacation.
Protecting Your Gadgets in the Heat
- Never leave any devices in direct sunlight (not sitting out on a table or next to you on your beach towel), direct sun can damage the computer components and hinder the device from working effectively. It can also cause the LCDs in your screen to deteriorate and shorten the lifespan of your device.
- Do not leave devices in a hot car. If you absolutely must leave your technology in the car, be sure to park in the shade and crack the car windows.
LIMIT DEVICE USAGE
- Overuse can also cause overheating when the temperatures are high. More use produces more energy and generates more heat, adding external heat to the internal heat already created by the battery. Overheating can damage the battery, or even cause it to explode if it’s too hot (this is especially important for mobile phones). When using devices out in the sun, shut down any apps you don’t need and limit your use of high-intensity programs such as the camera or games. Also, turn down your screen brightness and switch to airplane mode to conserve power and keep the battery running cooler. *If your device does happen to overheat, place it in a cool place out of direct sunlight, or get it into some air conditioning and let it cool down slowly. Cooling your device down too quickly can cause condensation to get trapped inside of the device, causing further damage.
- Make sure to shut it down properly. Check to make sure it is completely powered down, giving it time to cool down, before storing it away to avoid heat-trapping in the device.
- Unplug the Charger. Always unplug your device when fully charged. Leaving it on the charger can affect the battery life, and the device also runs the chance of overheating.
- Make sure you don’t forget your in-home electronics. Just because it is inside your home, doesn’t mean it isn’t at risk from heat damage. Make sure to keep in-house electronics out of direct sunlight too and make sure and keep your room or house properly ventilated for airflow around your equipment and never cover any vents or fans.
- Dust is also a major culprit or causing gadgets to overheat because it blocks airflow. Make sure to clean off the dust a bit more frequently over the summer.
- Open windows or install a fan to help keep your room and devices cool (if you don’t have AC). Keeping the in-house temp under 80 degrees will protect your items in the long run.
- Laptops are more portable, more compact, and slimmer than they ever have been. This means little space for airflow. Most laptops have air vents at the bottom or on the sides, so using your laptop on a flat or uneven surface like a pillow, bed, or on your lap for a long time blocks the airflow, causing it to overheat.
Protecting Your Gadgets when Traveling
- Pack a separate travel bag to keep track of your chargers and keep cords organized.
- Make sure everything is backed up on your phone and laptop before traveling to avoid valuable information being lost.
- At the Beach or Pool? Make sure you use a case that can protect you from water and sand. If sand does happen to get stuck inside your device, don’t rub it with a towel and use a canister of compressed air to blow away debris. There are also several options for speakers, headphones, e-readers, and waterproof cases out there that can handle taking a dip and keep on ticking. Consider upgrading your case/device for use near the water.
- Get yourself a portable hard drive. Before your trip, back up your devices, and email yourself critical information (contacts, passport, visas, and reservations) so that if something were to happen to your things, you can easily retrieve certain information while you’re still traveling.
- Bring a portable battery. A power bank or portable battery is a small but essential piece of travel tech, giving your gadgets extra battery life when you can’t find a power outlet.
- Make sure you are using Two-Step Verification to enhance your security. (FYI-when traveling abroad accessing accounts and using your phone or SMS needs to be set up differently, so make sure to check on that a few weeks before you leave)
- Less is often more. Consider the length of your trip and what you’ll be doing when deciding which devices to take. If you don’t need to work while on your trip, leave the laptop at home. Taking more gear than you need will weigh you down and could cause more headaches protecting and transporting.
Braver is also here to help you stay educated and vigilant in navigating the digital world, so reach out if you have any questions.