Using and maintaining mobile devices
By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)
Originally published by Cox Media Group on 5/17/21
The more you use your smartphone or tablet, the more important it is to keep secured and maintained. Here I share some tips but if you need further help, I suggest calling in a tech for one-onone help. Though you might not pay your bills on them or have as much sensitive data on them as your computer, it may be your main tool for online communication now. And if you use it as a camera, I’m sure you don’t want to lose those family photos.
On the other hand, if you don’t utilize your mobile devices much because they’re too complicated or you aren’t comfortable, a tech may also be able to streamline them so they’re easier to use.
Here are some of the basic protection things I recommend:
Get a protective case or cover: This is one of the first things I suggest getting, right from dayone.
Mobile devices are small, slick, and easy to drop, so you want to keep it physically protected. I personally like the ruggedness and warranty from the OtterBox brand, but any case or cover is better than none. Keep in mind there are many different device models out there and nearly each requires a specific case or cover, so ensure you get one that’s for your particular model.
Secure it with PIN, password or fingerprint: Securing your device helps ensure it’s safe if it becomes lost or stolen, or if those kids or grandkids try to get on it.
Ensure backup is enabled: Both Android and Apple devices have a backup solution, which I strongly suggest using if you take photos or have other important data on the devices. They offer free online backup of a certain storage amount and then when you exceed the amount you can clear off data or purchase a higher plan with more storage capacity.
Keep the software updated: Typically, you’re promoted about updates, so don’t ignore them. They can fix security issues and provide improvements.
There are also some things you can do to help performance, clutter and annoyances: Disable or remove apps you don’t use: Apps take up space and sometimes also can be annoying if their notifications are turned on, so remove apps you don’t use.
Occasionally clear the temporary data: Apps accumulate temporary data over time and clearing it out once in awhile can help free up space and refresh the app.
Disable notifications for apps and websites: You should disable notifications for apps and websites that you don’t want bothering you with updates, alerts, and ADs.
Consider any SPAM call or text filtering: This can help cut down on those annoying sales and scam calls and text messages, but the filtering abilities varying between phones, wireless carriers, and apps.
There are thousands of things you can do with mobile devices, but here are just some to consider: Talk to your device: Whether you have an Android or Apple based device, all allow you to speak commands to it, ask it questions, and do speech to text so sometimes you can talk instead of type. Of course, they aren’t perfect listeners, but these digital assistants can be useful and even comical.
Check out the online functionality: Google and Apple both provide online access to your account from the comfort of your computer, such as viewing or syncing your photos from the mobile devices, editing your contact list, making your device siren if lost, locking the device it if stolen and even texting from a computer.
Setup browser syncing with mobile devices: If you have a lot of bookmarks/favorites or saved passwords on your computer’s web browser, you can sync your phone or tablet with the browser so you can have those same bookmarks/favorites or saved passwords on your mobile device.