5 technical tools to get rid of old phones now to old routers
In a hurry to get up and running with new technology, it’s easy to skip settings that make a difference to our privacy. Don’t make this mistake. Here is a list of seven setup tech companies that you’d rather leave alone.
There are normal things we do every day that take months or even years into the life of our technology. Click or tap for five ways you’re ruining an expensive phone, laptop, tablet, and TV.
Some gadgets pose security and safety risks as well. Check this list to make sure you and your family are safe.
1. Old phones in the drawer may cause a fire
YouTuber Arun Maini, who runs a popular channel called Mrwhosetheboss, has been collecting every Samsung flagship phone since 2010. And he noticed a creepy pattern. Phone batteries swell enough to break glass and split the casing.
It’s not just Samsung phones. Any device equipped with a lithium-ion battery is subject to wear and tear over time. A swollen battery is a serious problem that can lead to fires, injuries, and property damage.
Look in the drawers for old phones and look for any signs of a swollen battery. If you see it, here’s what to do:
• Do not attempt to charge a swollen phone. Charging a swollen battery may cause a fire or explosion.
• If you have an old phone and an easily removable battery, carefully separate the battery from the case. If you have a newer phone, do not attempt to remove the battery yourself.
• Put the inflated phone in a fireproof bag and contact the manufacturer. You may not be able to exchange or get anything for an older model. However, at the very least, arrange for it to be recycled or disposed of properly.
When it comes to storing old phones, follow these basic rules:
• Turn off the phone and place it in a cool, moisture-free place.
• Charge the battery up to 50% if you plan to store it for a long time. Check the battery every six months or so and charge it halfway.
Maintenance can go a long way in getting extra years out of your current phone. Click or tap for my simple guide to properly cleaning your iPhone or Android device inside and out.
2. Old routers let hackers in
Your router does a big job: connect all your devices to the internet. If you are using an older model, you may not do the job safely.
The latest security standard is WPA-3, which was released back in 2018. If your router is not WPA3 compliant, WPA2-PSK AES is the next safer option. It’s a sign you need to get a new router.
When it comes to buying a new router, there are three primary factors. Consider the area and layout of your home, the number of devices you have connected to the internet, and your internet speed. But with so many options, it can be difficult to choose the right router.
Save time and money: Whether you need to cover an apartment or mansion with a mesh system, we have your back. Answer a few questions, and we’ll choose the best router for you. Take the 60-second quiz here for our handpicked recommendations.
3. No more updates
When there is an internet connection, there is a chance that hackers will cause chaos. Security updates keep you safe from the latest cybercriminals scams, which is why it is essential to keep your smartphone, computer, and everything else you have up-to-date.
What happens when your equipment no longer receives updates? It’s time to upgrade. This is evident in your phone and computer, but the same goes for smart speakers, security cameras, and just about anything else that uses your home network.
Here are some other ways to protect yourself:
• Regularly check your network to see which devices are connected and connected to the Internet. If you see something you don’t know, take action. Tap or click here to learn how to check all the devices on your Wi-Fi network.
• Consider creating a separate Wi-Fi network for your devices.
• Always use strong, complex passwords that are difficult to guess. Tap or click here to create stronger passwords.
4. It is included in the recall list
You don’t just have to worry about old hardware. Some products arrive in our homes with problems that can cause fires, injuries and worse.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission regularly warns of dangerous products and gives you steps to take if you have a recalled item in your home.
It is worth checking their list periodically to see if you own anything that puts your family at risk. Sometimes you can get a replacement or refund for the returned product. You’ll find instructions on how to contact the manufacturer there as well.
We also write about major tech product recalls on Komando.com. Get our warnings straight to your inbox by subscribing to our free fraud and security alerts newsletter. You’ll be glad you did!
5. Old power strips that show wear and tear
Outlet extenders and extension cords do many tasks around our homes. Sometimes the power strip will short and shut down your devices. When this happens, even if only for a few seconds, check the power strip for signs of damage. Look for tone marks around the ports. They will appear as rust-colored marks that you may be able to wipe off with your fingers.
Even without visible signs of damage, old power bars can be dangerous to use. If you have no idea when you last replaced your list, add it to your shopping list.
There are many things that you should not connect to an extender. Click or tap here to learn about 10 serious mistakes you might be making.
Try our new daily podcast for more tech savvy
My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today”. It’s 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from across the country. Find it wherever you get your podcast. For your convenience, click on the link below for an up-to-date episode.
Broadcast selection: Online FBI Recruitment Tests, Smart Speaker Tricks for the Holiday, No More Chrome
If you can solve this puzzle, you belong to the FBI. Well maybe. In addition to holiday smart speaker tricks, Amazon now lets you pay with Venmo and Chrome will disappear with Windows and browser extensions that take care of your searches.
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Catch up on the latest tech on the Kim Komando Show, the country’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data breaches. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.
The opinions and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of USA TODAY.
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