Image credit : Gadgets Now
Although we handle tech gadgets every day in our day-to-day lives, we tend to forget how dangerous they potentially are. It is easy to ignore or rather put it in the back of your mind to go over settings that protect our privacy. However, simple ignorance can cause damage to your gadgets and also pose a threat to your safety and security.
1. Old phones stored in a drawer can start a fire
It has been proven that any gadget with a lithium-ion battery can cause damage over time. The phone’s battery swells up enough to crack the glass and split the phone case. This can further lead to fires, injuries, and property damage.
Search through your drawers thoroughly for your old phones and check if they are showing any signs of swelling. In case of battery swelling:
- Do not try to charge a swollen phone as it might trigger a fire or explosion.
- If you have an older phone with an easily removable battery, separate the battery from the phone carefully. Do not attempt to remove the battery if you have a newer phone.
- Place the swollen phone in a fireproof bag and contact the manufacturer. Even if you are unable to exchange it, you can get it recycled or disposed of properly.
These are the rules you must follow in order to store old phones:
- Turn off your phone and put it in a cool, moisture-free place.
- Keep the battery charged to 50% if you wish to store it for a long time. Check the battery once every six months and charge it halfway.
2. Outdated routers let hackers in
Your router has one job and that is to connect all your devices to the internet. However, if you are using an ancient model, you might want to consider getting a new one.
The latest security standard is WPA-3 which was released in 2018. However, if your router is not WPA3 compatible, WPA2-PSK AES is your best option. Anything other than that requires a quick upgrade.
There are three vital factors that one should keep in mind while purchasing a new router: your home’s square footage and layout, the number of internet-connected devices you have, and your internet speed. Even with the pointers in mind, sometimes it can still be difficult to pick the right one.
3. There are no more updates
With internet connections, you always carry the potential for hackers to cause problems. The task of security updates is to keep you safe from cybercriminals’ latest hacking methods, and this is why it is of utmost importance to keep all your devices connected to the internet updated.
In case your device no longer receives updates, it is simply time to get a new one. This applies not only to your phone and computer but also to security cams, speakers, etc. that use your home internet.
Here are a few more pointers to keep yourself safe:
- Check your network regularly to see which devices are online and connected. Take action if you see something you don’t recognize.
- Consider setting up a separate Wi-Fi network for your devices.
- Use a strong and complex password that is difficult to guess or remember.
4. It is on a recall list
Sometimes it is not just old devices that you need to be concerned about because some products may get into our homes and cause disastrous events.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission constantly warns about dangerous products and provides steps to take if you have a recalled item in your place.
It is important to scan their list regularly to check if you own anything dangerous that might put you and your family at risk. At times, you can get a replacement or even a refund for the recalled item. You will find instructions on how to contact the manufacturer on the list too.
5. Old power strips showing wear and tear
Outlet extenders and extension cords play a vital role in our homes, but sometimes a power strip can short and shut off all your devices. If this happens, even for a few seconds, you should check the power strip thoroughly for any signs of damage. You should also inspect for signs of singe around the outlets, which will appear like rusty marks that you could wipe off with your fingers.
Although the damage might not be apparent, old power strips can be dangerous as they have the potential to catch fire. It is better to replace your power strips if you cannot remember the last time you changed them.