Torbjorn Zetterlund

Thu 14 2021

How to Prevent Your Tech from Turning Against You

by bernt & torsten

Soaring through the 21st century, we are swamped with technology. From your personal computer, your eBook reader and your smartphone, you are subjected to an always-online system 24/7. In addition, the advent of the smart home means devices like hubs communicate with your temperature controls, light bulbs and refrigerator. But appliances break down, yet there are some things you can do to prevent your tech from turning against you.

If you become one of the 30 million people per year injured by a defective product, you can speak with a defective drugs and devices attorney if you are injured in some way. However, you can prevent this from happening by knowing how a machine works, maintaining it, learning security and expanding your skillset. In addition, you should always take advantage of warranties offered by a manufacturer. 

Always, Always RTFM

As a part of the rules and regulations of technology manufacture, companies must develop in-depth manuals. Manuals typically contain safe operation procedures, installation, configuration and maintenance of a device. For example, your smartphone manual will inform you how to install the battery safely, turn on your device and set it up for first-time use. However, while a phone is straightforward, other devices are not. For example, suppose you have ever tried to install a complete smart home system. In that case, you know about the complexities of interconnected devices.

Be Aware of the Interconnectedness

Speaking of interconnected devices, you should be aware of the Internet of Things (IoT) since more and more devices are compliant. The IoT is a method by which devices communicate and work with each other. Your Alexa controlled thermostat is a good example. Yet, the always-on and network integration of cloud computing exposes them to cybersecurity issues and misuse. For example, there are cases of Alexa ordering items from Amazon because of an overheard conversation. And an unsecured Wi-Fi network is easily accessible by criminal hackers.

Keep Your Tech in Tip Top Shape

It’s an unfortunate but actual fact that some devices are released to the public unfinished. While this was common with computer software, hardware is also subject to this problem since most devices such as modern HDTV operate via system software. System software is maintained and fixed using patch updates via the internet or USB loading. Your computer operating system (Windows, macOS) is a perfect example. And you should continually update software and hardware since criminal hackers can exploit security vulnerabilities.

Always Register for a Warranty

Things break. That’s just a fact you will need to accept. Yet you can help your tech and yourself using a warranty. Most manufacturers offer warranties on their devices, but this usually requires registration. The warranty guarantees a replacement or repair should your hardware stop working as it should, through no fault of your own. These are important since you could end up out of pocket. Xbox 360’s “red ring of death” is an example where consumers were forced to pay for a repair that wasn’t their fault. Microsoft was eventually ordered to stop charging for this.

Expand Your Skills

Of course, a valuable way to ensure the correct operation and long life of a device is by expanding your skillset. When you know how a particular machine works, you will use it more efficiently, maintain it properly and upgrade if possible. And you will save money. For example, learning how PCs work is an excellent way of ensuring you can confidently fix them when they break down. There is a hardware and software component to computers. Yet, knowledge of operating systems won’t guarantee you can install new hardware and vice versa.