Device Maintenance Part 2
In the last article, we looked at how to maintain your laptop or desktop computer. In this article, we will look into the best practices to help maintain your mobile device.
The principles for this are the same regardless of whether it’s Android or iOS so I won’t differentiate between them here. Keeping your devices up to date with operating system updates and updates for critical applications is critical. In most cases applications will update themselves as long as they’ve been installed from the relevant app store. Keeping up to date ensures you will always be running the current version which means if you have support you are more likely to get assistance.
Physically, the first thing to do with any device is to get a protective case and screen protector. This is hands down the best way to look after your device and maximise its lifespan. Even the most careful person in the world will drop their device. Every now and again remove the case and make sure the device is clean and dust free. Just like you clean your house, you need to look after your device as well.
One of the simplest things to do that people tend to forget is to periodically shutdown and restart the device. Remember that your mobile device is essentially a computer in your hand and just like a normal computer it should be shutdown and restarted on a regular basis to clear cache and generally refresh the system. I recommend weekly, but you can usually get away with monthly.
The second easy thing to do that people also tend to skip is looking into the device performance and optimising it as much as possible. Usually the device will prompt you to do this but it is also easy to ignore. Running through this process periodically will remove old files, put unused apps to sleep, free up space, and optimise battery usage just to name a few things. These types of activities will help your device run better and last longer so it’s worth spending 5mins once a fortnight to go through it, especially given how much mobile devices cost these days.
Another easy thing to do is go through the installed apps and uninstall anything you no longer need or are not using. It’s amazing how often people install an app, use it once or twice, decide it doesn’t work for them and leave it on their device. This means the app is taking space on the device, if it doesn’t go to sleep then it’s using battery power and still has access to everything you accepted when you clicked ‘allow’ during the install.
This brings me to the next point around security. You should regularly check what applications have access to on your device and determine whether or not this should be happening. Every time you install an app you give it access to functions and/or information on your phone and in many cases it can access more than it needs to for the purpose it is providing. For example, a scanning app will probably want access to your camera which makes sense. If it also wants access to your contacts and call history, I’d be looking for an alternate app to use for that purpose. This is not easy to keep track of as most of us are guilty of clicking accept or allow during the install to get the app installed so we can use it quickly, which is why we installed it. Over time this means more and more apps have access to more and more of your information so it’s important to keep on top of them. The easiest way to do this is to remove anything not being used. The second part is to keep on top of what they have access to.
Consider anti-virus and anti-malware software for your mobile device. As mentioned, it is a computer in your hand and should be protected as such. Think of all the things you do on your device such as banking that need to be kept secure.
Finally, for your benefit more so than the device – back up your data. That will ensure you can recover the data in the event you lose or break the device.
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