We’ve all been there. We purchase the latest smartphone and everything is hunky-dory. We get the requisite software updates and our device has its bugs fixed and vulnerabilities protected. At least we hope. But after a while, those updates stop coming. It appears that our devices are at the end of their life span. Is it? If not, how do you make your tech last longer?
The problem most of the time is an upgrade is like that shiny new object. We are all attracted to it. Tech companies make them look so wonderful and inviting. Of course, they are. But they are also so damn expensive. So, would you keep your ancient device if you knew how to make your tech last longer?
Look, we are all tethered to our electronics. Sadly, they make the world go around. Sadly again, you may need to take a second mortgage out on your home in order to afford a new one (thank you, Apple! Thank you, Samsung!) How is a person supposed to grab a new device each and every year as companies crank out new tech after new tech? The key to avoiding this massive dent in your wallet is to understand how to make your tech last longer. It might not be the perfect answer in the long run, but it could save you some coin in the short term.
The main thing you want to concern yourself with is the safety of your present gadget. You never want to stay attached for such a long time that your gadget becomes vulnerable to all the cyberattacks, bugs, or any other flaw that may present itself. So, understanding your gadget’s safety features can go a long way in helping you make your tech last longer.
Free Geek executive director, Hilary Shohoney, understands that living and working requires the ability to use tech safely. Her nonprofit salvages old or outdated machines and reconfigures them for schools and senior citizens. “We have to ride the line between what the reality is for a lot of people and recognizing that everybody has to engage in the digital world,” Shohoney said to The New York Times. “It’s not a fair thing to say you need the best computer to get the best security.”
So, what is that line in making your tech last longer? When the updates end, does the safety of the device also go away? Not necessarily.
Think about how we use tech today. You may not know it, or maybe you do but just don’t pay attention to it, but cell phones rely mainly on apps and the internet. One of the main ways to extend your device’s life is to make sure your web browser remains up to date. Doing this will help ensure that you will have protection from malicious websites.
With that in mind, if you are an Android owner and have concerns, another layer of protection from malware-scanning apps such as Lookout, NortonLifeLock, or McAfee LiveSafe can be great things to have on your aging device. They definitely can help make your tech last longer. Of course, they are all going to have a fee associated with them.
If you receive a link from an unknown sender, do not click on it. They (the bad guys) want your information and that is one of the easiest ways for them to obtain it. Also, if possible, try to always use applications that are being offered by trusted brands.
One more way to protect yourself and your device are to set up two-pronged authentication for any of your online accounts. This means that along with a password, you would also have a second measure to log in with (like a security code) so the site knows it’s truly you. If you fail this second security measure, the account immediately suspects foul play and locks the account.
Another way of making your tech last longer could be installing a different operating system. This option would require one to have a little bit better technical know-how than the average person, but it can be accomplished, nevertheless. When Free Geek repurposes their old machines, they install the Linux OS. It allows the system to extend its life and offers great security to the older piece of equipment.
If you are an Android or Apple owner, choices become slim. Android owners can make your tech last longer with an OS called LineageOS. It is an open-source mobile OS and is known for its powerful security. Apple iPhone users are going to have a much tougher time going this route as Apple has made life extremely difficult for owners of older devices. Their goal is to make you purchase a new one and their tech is set up to make that happen.
Yes, we know you want that shiny new object. Who wouldn’t want one? But if the funds are tight, as most of us are experiencing, there are ways to make your tech last longer.