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Protect your mobile gadgets
By Tammy May

Protect your iPhone from loss, theft and damageSo, I’m sitting on the couch with my kids and they’re both playing with their iPods. I’m simultaneously working on my laptop and browsing Facebook on my phone. There’s an iPad charging in the kitchen and a desktop computer in the home office. When exactly did the house become a computer laboratory?

 My dad bought the kids iPhones (yes, iPhones for primary school-aged grandkids) for Christmas two years ago. I just about choked on my pavlova when the kids opened them. You can imagine the kids’ excitement, followed by utter dejection when I announced they couldn’t keep them. Poor Dad was confused—he meant to buy them iPods not iPhones, but didn’t know the difference. Crisis averted—we sold the iPhones and bought them each an iPod Touch instead.

Now, of course, we have the constant threat of keeping track of everything and avoiding mishaps along the way. I hope this list of ways to protect your portable devices helps you stay in control of your mobile technology, too.

  1. Cover it. It’s worth spending money on a shockproof, waterproof,      (childproof!) case. A screen protector is also important because it can      prevent the screen from shattering.
  2. Set a security      passcode. A passcode to unlock the device protects your      data and makes it less attractive to thieves.
  3. Put your name on      it. You could mark the device with an ultraviolet      pen (invisible to the naked eye) or tape an alternative contact number to      it. If it’s found by an honest person (and I like to think most people      are), they’ll know how to find you. Hey, it can’t hurt trying.
  4. Back up your      data. I automatically backup my Apple devices to      iCloud and manually backup my laptop once a month. I keep the backup hard      drive at work. I have over 22,000 family photos on my laptop alone. It      would break my heart to lose those memories.
  5. Install a device      locator app. The Find My iPhone app allows you to locate,      call or wipe Apple devices remotely. Are you an Android user? In August, Google      launched its Android Device Manager app that can track an android device via      the web. (You need to open a Google account to use it.)
  6. Write down the      model and serial numbers. This will be      important if you’re making a police report or insurance claim.
  7. Think about      insuring it. Check with your insurance company to see if      portable devices are covered in your home contents. Some insurers offer      mobile device insurance policies—could be a worthwhile investment if      you’re in the habit of losing things.
  8. Leave it at      home. I don’t let my kids take their iPods to school.      It’s too easy for portable devices to be lost, damaged or stolen—and I figure      they should be concentrating on school work. Kids and adults alike also      need to be mindful that they can be potential targets for theft and thuggery      when using devices in public.
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