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Protect Your Tech: Don’t Fall Victim To Summer Fun

A small investment, and a little common sense, will allow you to enjoy the summer.

Originally Published June 24, 2013.

You’ve spent months preparing for summer, getting the backyard and deck ready for soirees, finalizing those last-minute specifics for that week-long vacation, and hitting the gym a little harder to tone your soon-to-be beach bod. But did you prep your tech tools for the heat?

Whether you plan to take your gadgets near the pool or work outside, Mashable has outlined ways to protect your tech this summer:

Keep Cool

If you do nothing else, keep your tech in the shade. During the summer months, it’s easy for your gadgets to overheat, so keep them in a cool, shady area as often as possible. If you do realize your phone, for example, has overheated in the sun, let it cool slowly. But don’t try to rush the process by sticking it in the freezer or fridge.

And for those choosing to work outside, place your laptop on a cooling pad. Also, try cleaning your laptop fan to keep the device cooler.

If you plan to leave the sandals and swimwear for snow gear, keep your phone protected in an inside pocket, or somewhere close to your body, to stop it from chilling or experiencing temperature changes that can lead to visual distortions in the display. To prevent condensation from occurring inside your phone, let your phone return to its normal temperature gradually.

Use a cooling pad when you’re working on a laptop outdoors, even if you don’t use one at home. Increased temperatures mean even new laptops could easily overheat in the summer sun. Also, cleaning your laptop fan will ensure it’s running properly and keeping your laptop cooler. Again, the best protection is to keep it in the shade.

Use Protection

Another concern is water damage. While your current cellphone case protects against damage from dropping your phone, it will do little to protect your phone from damage caused by liquid, dust, or sand. If you want to tote your cell to the shore, you’ll need a little something extra.

Waterproof cases are thermoplastic sheaths that prevent rain, dust, sand and other debris from getting into the small crevices in your phone and wreaking havoc. Waterproof cases also allow you to capture underwater pics and content for your socials.

There is no laptop-shaped waterproof cover, but laptop skins will prevent dust and sand from ruining your keyboard or screen and can be ordered for about $10. This protection is fairly minimal, however, and won’t prevent all damage.

Keep It Dry

If you’re looking for a little more protection, say, for boating or swimming, try a waterproof backpack like one from DryCASE. If you actually do use your laptop poolside, our best advice is to be very careful. Your device won’t be protected if it’s not in the bag!

Case by Case

If you’re planning to take laptops out into the great outdoors, plastic laptop skins will protect your tech against scratches and other physical damage, but won’t be much help when it comes to small debris and jolting car rides. Either buy a padded sleeve, or opt for a bag or case that has padding all around your computer, not just up against your back, so that the other contents of your bag won’t damage your laptop.

You should always have a case and screen protector on your cellphone or tablet to prevent damage and scratches. If you’re serious about keeping your tech safe, consider getting an OtterBox or other heavy-duty case, as opposed to the more fashionable (but ultimately less effective) hard plastic cases.