1. Treating your Tech like it is dispensable
Leaving it laying out
Leaving your laptop or cell phone out casually in the open is very common. Because they aren't rare and most of us carry either one or both on our person, people tend to leave them on tables, sofa arms, and office desks all day long. And thieves count on that complacency. Most tech swipes aren't planned. They happen in a matter of seconds because you turned your back or left the room for a quick bathroom break.
Fix - Whether you are at work, in a café, outside with the kids. Keep your gear with you or someone you trust. Leaving items in your car isn't safe either. Out of sight is out of mind. Cell phones and laptops left on the front seat or dash are easy targets for thieves that can easily smash a window and be gone in a flash.
No cover or protection
It is only a matter of time before you are regretting not buying a case. No matter how sure-handed you are, and no matter how carefully you treat your devices, one day they are going to slip out of a pocket, or simply fall to the ground when someone’s elbow bumps against you.
Fix - Go buy a case. And not the cute one, but get the practical rubberized case that will prevent damage.
2. Food and drink
Not only is food on your hands and then your keyboard or phone not sanitary, but those crumbs will physically clog up your tech. Computers and laptops are run on fan based cooling systems. You already have to combat dust and dirt and now you have just added food. Let’s not even talk about that mug of coffee or glass of wine have beside you. Let’s hope that you don’t knock it over. FYI – water damage is almost always irreversible.
Fix - Take the time to have a break away from technology. Walk away from your desk and ‘unplug’ for your meal times. You're too busy? Then use a beverage container that is sealed. Start wiping down your keyboards, keysets and phones with a sanitary wipe. You clean your house, so why not your electronics? Wipe it down – it's easy. Also, when was the last time you had your machine in for a physical cleaning. Once or twice a year should do it. Not sure when it happened last? Think spring cleaning and patio season pack up – for us Canadians.
3. No data back up
Don't kid yourself. If everything was to crash right now, there would be data on that device that you would want. Even if you are careful and conscientious with your back up, look back to #1. You can't prepare yourself for a sudden loss of data, so make it so you don't have to.
Fix - Any number of cloud storage services will sync your files and automatically back-up your PC, a tablet, or a phone. In most cases you only need to download an app and set it up. Too hard? Ask an expert.
4. Same password
Using the same password is leaving you open to security risks. All it takes is a website that doesn’t store passwords securely and gets hacked or an old and unencrypted hard drive that’s poorly disposed of and there is the key to your information. Worse yet, is the ‘remember me’ check box. That leaves your information stored in the system. And once again look back to #1. So now someone has your device and all of your passwords.
Fix - Create a code of some kind that is the same but with a variable linked to the website you are using. Let’s use Facebook as an example. Your password could be johnsmith2016FB. Whereas, when you log into Twitter it could be johnsmith2016TW.
5. Throwing electronics in the garbage
Over time you will accumulate some electronic waste as you update and upgrade your systems or make changes to your software. But there is no good reason not to recycle your e-waste. Most of it will end up in landfills and a lot of your electronic waste is hazardous.
Fix - It's fairly easy to recycle your old tech. In Parkland alone, there are Eco stations in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain, plus organized e-waste drop off events. In addition, you can always leave it with us. We can recycle it for you after we ensure your hard drive is completely unreadable.