Caring for Your Device

Most Canadians consider smartphones to be indispensable to their daily lives, and surveys have shown that some people would rather go without shoes, caffeine or brushing their teeth before being parted from their mobile device.

Naturally, people want to get the most out of their devices. However, improper device care can reduce a smartphone’s performance and shorten its life, and, in extreme cases, put a user at risk of injury. Following some simple techniques for device use, care and storage can help ensure their smartphone functions properly for as long as possible.

Third-party Accessories

What you connect to your device can have a direct impact on how it performs – for better or for worse. Manufacturers recommend consumers only use authorized accessories with their device. Authorized accessories, such as chargers and batteries, will help ensure your device performs as it was designed to perform, for the full life of the device.

Unauthorized accessories can damage your device, reduce its performance and lifespan, and even put you at risk of injury. There have been instances where unauthorized batteries have combusted, and unauthorized chargers have emitted sparks and caught fire. No one should be subjected to this type of situation.

Consumers also need to guard against unknowingly purchasing counterfeit accessories or parts, such as batteries. Counterfeit parts are often indistinguishable from the legitimate item in terms of appearance, but can harm the performance and lifespan of a mobile device and potentially put users at risk of injury. Consumers should always purchase mobile device accessories and parts from an authorized dealer.

Battery Care

Most smartphones are now powered by lithium ion batteries, which have different characteristics and charging requirements than traditional lead acid batteries. For instance, while it was recommended to fully discharge lead acid batteries before attempting to charge them, lithium ion batteries can be recharged at any time. Smartphone users are therefore encouraged to charge their mobile devices whenever they have a convenient opportunity to do so.

Different smartphone chargers have different specifications for output current and voltage. As a result, normal charging cannot be guaranteed if you use a charger that does not meet the voltage and current requirements of your smartphone’s battery. Refer to your device manual to determine if a charger satisfies the requirements for your mobile device.

Device Protection – Case and Screen Protectors

As much as we try to avoid anything that will damage our mobile devices, dropping (sitting on, stepping on or scratching) our phones once in a while is inevitable. Such undue jolting and jarring can not only damage the phones case and screen, it can also damage internal components and the battery. Device case and screen protectors can help minimize damage from falls and other accidents, which can prolong the useful life of your device.

Storage

Proper mobile device storage, including a designated storage area near your phone charger, can not only help make sure your device is available and ready when you need it, it can also help ensure your device operates to its full potential for its full lifespan. Improper storage practices can often damage your device.

Specifically, don’t store your device in an area that restricts airflow and causes your device to overheat, such as in a closed container, a small drawer or under your pillow. Also, if you need to seal your device in a plastic bag to keep it dry, make sure to turn the device off before doing so. Storing and charging any electronic device in a tightly enclosed space may shorten its lifespan and could become a potential fire hazard.

Protecting Your Phone from Theft

A cell phone can be your lifeline in an emergency. However, your cell phone and other electronics may also attract unwanted attention from thieves. ProtectYourData.ca provides a checklist of information gathered from Canadian law enforcement agencies on how to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of personal robbery.