Community & Current Events

8 tips to get the most from your electronics

Author: Canadian Living

Community & Current Events

8 tips to get the most from your electronics

Don't keep electronics plugged in longer than you need to. They still use up to 25 per cent of their power needs when turned off.

If your laptop, smartphone or tablet battery isn't lasting long, dim the screen and turn off Wi-Fi, GPS or Bluetooth functions.

Should you opt for an extended warranty? "No," says Melissa Valentino from Consumer Reports. "Most electronics aren't likely to break down during the extended service period."

Chances are your family is amassing irreplaceable photos, videos, documents and music. Keep one or two backups of these in another room in case of a fire, theft or virus. There are online backup solutions, too; for example, Windows Live SkyDrive offers 25 gigabytes of free storage in the cloud.

Never use a computer without antivirus protection. Most software also includes antispyware tools to protect against hidden Trojan programs monitoring your surfing.

Now that many of our electronics are touch-based, be sure to keep them clean. Baby wipes, if not too damp, can do the trick -- or use a cloth sprayed with nonabrasive glass cleaner.

Donate old gadgets to those who could use them, or recycle them. Most major manufacturers and retailers have recycling programs.

Keep registration info, warranties, receipts and manuals in one place. Better yet, digitize the info and keep it on your computer.

Shopping for the latest in gadgets and technology? Let tech expert Marc Saltzman help you decide what to buy. Find the best smartphones, computers, digital cameras and other tech toys to suit your family's needs with our home electronics shopping guide.

This story was originally titled "Holiday Tech Shopping Guide" in the January 2012 issue.

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8 tips to get the most from your electronics

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