We rely on electronic devices to wake us up, share the weather, get us to our destination, and more. Whether you use phones, GPS, voice-activated personal assistants, or other devices, however, these devices can cause injury.
Each year, residents of Hollywood and South Florida are injured by electronic devices or are the victims of identity theft or fraud because their devices are targeted. Here’s how you can reduce your risk:
1) Use remote wipe features: Set up your cell phone, tablet, and other devices so you can wipe them clean if they are ever lost or stolen. This way, thieves cannot track your schedule, gain access to files, or look at your email if they gain access to your devices.
2) Put in as little personal information as you need to: Your mobile devices will prompt you for plenty of personal information, including your name and home address. Consider using a nickname (not your full name) and putting in an address near your home but which is not your home.
3) Never leave electronic devices in a hot car or direct sunlight: Heat can cause batteries or the device itself to get dangerously overheated. This can damage the device and can cause injuries when you attempt the use the device later.
4) Never expose devices to water: There have been electrocution fatalities caused by self-takers who used a charging phone in a tub or around water. Keep your devices dry and away from you when you’re swimming or bathing.
5) Be aware of selfie injury risks: There have been many injuries and even fatalities caused by people taking selfies while climbing, driving, or taking part in other dangerous activities. Distraction can cause car accidents, falls, and other injury-causing incidents.
6) Share less on social media: Avoid sharing personal details, such as where you work or when you’ll be away from home or home alone, on social media. There is no way to know who will see this information and what they might do with this data.
7) Never attempt to alter your devices: Manipulating your GPS, phone, tablets, and other electronics can invalidate any warranty and can make the item more vulnerable to overheating, fires, and other dangers.
8) Check for device recalls: Have your item replaced or repaired if there is a mechanical flaw with the product.
9) Get your devices replaced or repaired if they are damaged: Broken screens, overheating batteries, frayed cords, and other problems can put you at risk of fire, explosion, leaks, and other issues which can result in serious injury.
10) Be aware of fraud and criminal risk: Any item which is linked to the Internet can potentially be accessed by criminals. Your smart home security may allow others to access your video feed and your social media may provide a way for fraudsters to contact you to try to bribe or blackmail you. The US government has a website listing common scams and fraud. Get familiar with the schemes so you can recognize them when you’re targeted.
If you have suffered an injury due to your mobile device, you may have a products liability claim. Contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Hollywood products liability attorney.