Whether you travel occasionally for your job or you are frequently driving to fulfill daily responsibilities, you are presented with numerous occasions to temporarily use your vehicle as storage for your technology, including laptops, smartphones, tablets, cameras, or other devices.
Many people leave their electronics behind for hours at a time without a second thought. Considering how valuable and, in some ways, fragile technology can be, though, you should reconsider keeping it in your car.
In a Tech Tip Tuesday video, Keith Marchiano, director of operations at Kyocera Intelligence, extrapolates on why you should keep technology out of your car. Extreme weather conditions, both hot and cold, can cause damage to technological devices, which are typically built to be operated in temperatures between 50 and 85 degrees.
Why avoid keeping technology in your car
If you store technology, such as cameras, smartphones or laptops, in your car for long periods of time, you are often exposing them to less than optimal conditions that put them at risk for damage and deterioration. In particular, four detrimental scenarios can occur:
Exposure to both extreme heat and cold can cause the screen on your laptop to become rigid and susceptible to cracks. According to an article in International Business Times, smartphones can experience other screen issues in extreme cold, as well. Those with LCDscan experience delays in touchscreen reactions, as well as smudging and ghosting of text and colors. Additionally, “display panels are also more susceptible to shattering when dropped as the cold makes the panel rigid,” the article states.
2. Battery damage
If you leave your gear in your car, you may experience damage to the battery, including a decrease in battery life and the battery’s ability to keep a charge. While most laptops and some other electronics have heat sensors to shut down the system in extreme temperatures, the rechargeable battery will often experience shorter run times after being exposed to extreme heat.
Keeping technology in your car can cause moisture buildup inside a device, especially laptops, which negatively impacts the motherboard, RAM, and hard drive, among other components. Condensation is especially likely to occur rapidly if you have kept a device in an excessively cool environment and then move it to a warmer environment. In an article for The Dallas Morning News, Jim Rossman, a technical manager for A.H. Belo Corporation, advises that when you make the transfer from one extreme to another, you should keep your technology turned off and give it time to acclimate to room temperature before turning it on or trying to operate it.
A common piece of advice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is to never leave valuables in your car, no matter where you live. If you have valuable items sitting in plain view, that can compel crimes of opportunity. Even locking your door is not a sufficient deterrent. Many petty thieves have no problem smashing a window or breaking into a vehicle if they see valuables readily accessible for the taking, which is another good reason to not keep technology in your car.
What is the alternative to storing technology in your car?
If you must keep your electronic devices in your car for an extended period of time, make sure they are shut down, out of direct sunlight, and hidden as best as possible. The better idea, however, is to take them with you inside a carrying case, purse, or tote bag of some sort. Although that can be tedious at times, remember your technology is not only pricey but also a vital tool for your professional work. It is worth investing in a briefcase, messenger bag, or larger purse that can accommodate your smartphone, laptop, camera, tablet, and any other expensive equipment.
If you have questions about how to care for your technology—both personal and professional—or if you want more tips on managing information services, contact Kyocera Intelligence at 800-875-8843 x1122 or visit osisit.com.