Does caring for your technology stress you out?
Authored by a Symantec employee
Let’s face it. We invented technology to service us, not the other way around. Yet, we may find ourselves spending a lot of time worrying about our devices.
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Take for instance that awful, sinking feeling you get when you can’t find your phone. How often have you desperately patted your pockets or ransacked your purse in absolute panic after you realized you haven’t checked your texts for a full five minutes? And if you still haven’t found it, did all your photos and chat messages flash before your eyes?
Caring for your phone shouldn’t be a lot of work. Stress and technology shouldn’t go together. There are a few things to keep in mind when caring for your devices.
Caring for device hardware
Phones fall. Screens crack. Cameras drop dead. When that happens, are you ready? Before buying a phone, tablet or computer, always read the fine print. Find out what kind of warranty coverage comes with it. Do the math to see if you need more — and are willing to pay extra for it.
As you read the warranty, pay attention to what’s covered and what’s not. Find out what type of customer support service is offered. Oh, and consider a screen protector and a sturdy case to prevent accidental damage.
Caring for device software
Always make sure you’re running the latest version of your device’s operating system and apps. Performing updates when prompted can ward off many potential problems, including newly discovered security vulnerabilities. They can also deliver new features or fix annoying bugs.
Caring for your data
Chances are, you have a lot of data on your devices — personal information, emails, photos, messages, the list goes on. And you should maintain control over your data. If cybercriminals get a hold of your personal information, they may be able to use it to commit identity theft, financial fraud, or, in the case of ransomware, hold your data hostage until you pay up.
Consider using a security suite that offers comprehensive protection. Before you buy anti-virus software, you may want to ask some basic questions.
- Does it offer backup for my photos and contacts?
- Will my device be protected from viruses, malware, spyware and other malicious threats?
- Can I make financial transactions safely? Does it encrypt all data coming in and going out?
- How many devices does it protect?
- Does it allow my family to connect to the Internet safely?
- Is there a smart firewall?
Caring for yourself
Tech neck, text claw and cell phone elbow are some informal names for physical conditions believed to be caused by excessive or improper use of technology. When staring at a screen, remember to use proper posture and blink often, and don’t forget to take breaks to stand up and move around. You may even want to check with your doctor if you think technology is affecting your health.
Extra tech tips to reduce stress
- Keep spare chargers at work, at home and in your car.
- Label your charger so it’s less likely to “walk away.”
- Consider a portable charger when traveling. You never know how long you may be between electrical outlets.
- On your lock screen, try to incorporate your email address or an alternate phone number where you can be reached if someone finds your phone.
- Install ‘Find My Phone’ or ‘Find My Device’ apps on your device to help you pinpoint its location if it goes missing.
- If your phone has a feature to delete its content if lost or stolen, make sure that feature is turned on, so you can use it if needed.
Despite the occasional glitch or dead battery, technology’s plusses generally outweigh its minuses. With a few simple steps, you can maintain control of your devices and not let them stress you out.
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