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

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How many smartphones have you dropped and shattered? It’s a terrible feeling to see her fall to the ground and know 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 just remove the protection and it’s as good as new. Here is a link to the brand I have been using for years, ESR.

Our devices are big investments. You have to treat your technology well to get your money’s worth. Regular maintenance is one way to keep up with the game. Tap or click for six checks to do now to avoid a hefty repair bill later.

Based on calls to my show, emails and questions posted on my website technical support forumhere are five common mistakes that could cost you.

1. You are charging too much

Do you keep your phone connected all the time? Apple claims that when your iPhone “stays at full charge for extended periods of time, the health of the battery can suffer.”

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

Etsy.com, $ 60 Battery and phone chargers might be the most mundane pieces of tech. But they don't have to be.

Etsy.com, $ 60 Battery and phone chargers might be the most mundane pieces of tech. But they don’t have to be.
(Maleigha Ornelia | Blingspirations)

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

More technological intelligence: Tap or click for tricks to keep your phone battery in tip top shape.

2. Wait too long to charge your laptop

Laptop batteries have a finite number of charge-discharge cycles. If you frequently let the battery run out completely, this affects the charge-discharge cycle and decreases the expected life.

Your laptop battery can also lose efficiency in another way. Let’s say you regularly charge your laptop from 30% to 50% or around 20% every time you charge it. Well, do this five times and you will have completed a battery cycle because you have charged your laptop to 100% in total.

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

3. Choose the cheapest option

If you lose your charger or a USB cable becomes frayed, resist the temptation to buy the cheaper replacement. The few dollars you save on a low-cost replacement could most likely negatively impact the performance of your device.

One-size-fits-all charger and cable manufacturers don’t want you to know that often their products don’t have the proper voltage needed to work with your specific device. Because matter? The battery may not receive the necessary charge to fully charge. Worse still, it could erode battery life.

Even cheap chargers can be dangerous for you. Many generic phone chargers are less likely to meet established guidelines for safety and quality testing than their branded counterparts, causing severe shocks and burns.

Spend a little more to get a replacement charger and cable from the device manufacturer or certified third-party manufacturers. Tap or click for solid third-party advice for iPhone and Android.

4. You are negligent

Phones today are quite robust. They can generally withstand water, dust and some water. But leaving the device in a hot car or 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.

Even extreme cold temperatures wreak havoc on your phone. Lithium-ion batteries can stop discharging electricity in freezing temperatures, resulting in reduced battery life, display problems, and even breaking the display glass.

Repair a broken phone.

Repair a broken phone.

RELATED: radio silence? How to tell if someone has blocked your calls.

5. You are sloppy

Is your technology perfectly clean or covered in crumbs and stains? It’s not just about cleaning. Dust and dirt can cause serious damage to computers, TVs, and other expensive electronic devices.

Here are some essential tools I keep handy for maintaining my devices:

  • Compressed air: This is especially useful when you need to clean tight spaces and inside hard-to-reach crevices. If you don’t like the waste of regular compressed air, try an electric duster.
  • Isopropyl alcohol: Avoid household cleaning products on your electronic devices. A good rule of thumb is that if you 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 cloth. I always buy them.
  • Distilled or purified bottled water: Tap water may leave mineral stains and stains.
  • Soft cloths: Lint free is your friend; do not use paper towels or tissues that scratch and leave particles behind. If you have a 100% cotton cloth, that works too. Here is an affordable pack of clothes that I have purchased a couple of times.
  • Toothbrush: A soft toothbrush can be used on hard-to-reach areas and spots that need light scrubbing.

When you are ready to give your technician a good spring cleaning, I can help you. Tap or click here for the tested steps to clean ports, headsets, keyboards, displays, and printers.

Dirty computer keyboard

bonus tip: War in Ukraine: the dangers, scams and hacks you need to keep an eye on + your calls

Russia has invaded Ukraine and there are fears that it could lead to cyber warfare, even here in the US Find out what this could mean for you. Also, 10 new war scammers scammers are using to fool people.

Check out my “Kim Komando Explains” podcast on Apple, Google podcasts, Spotifyor your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you find your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Command”.

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

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Discover all the latest technologies on The Kim Commando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim answers calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters, and more, visit her website at Komando.com.