Taking Care of Your Gaming Equipment in 2020

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Are you doing everything possible to maintain
the quality of your gaming equipment? Whether you are still playing that retro console or buying the newest Xbox, proper care and attention are
needed to make sure that these prized systems last the test of time. After all,
why would you spend hundreds of dollars just to let your
favorite toy go to waste?

These days, caring for your gaming machines is
more important than ever, as advancing technology creates more vulnerabilities.
So, whether it is keeping your PlayStation dust-free or fighting off
cybercrime, follow these tips and maintain the integrity of your favorite
console.

Be
Proactive

While there are plenty of new threats that can
negatively affect our gaming equipment as technology continues to advance, you
first want to ensure that you are proactive in keeping your systems in tip-top
shape. If you do not perform the basics, then you don’t stand a chance down the
road. Start by keeping your equipment in a dry and ventilated area because,
like with other electronics, if your equipment gets wet, then it could mess
with the circuits.

Also, keep your console on a shelf and your
gaming computer on a desk in order to keep them off the carpet for several
reasons. One is that carpet can absorb heat quite quickly, and you do not want
to start a fire. Even more probable is that carpet fibers and dust could rise
up and clog the vents, which could also lead to overheating and malfunction. If
you do notice dust clogs, then use a can of compressed air to carefully
remove the blockage.

When cleaning system screens, avoid using
glass and window cleaners and instead use a microfiber cloth and lightly clean
the screen in a circular motion. Keeping any electronic device clean is
paramount, so also avoid eating and dropping crumbs in your gaming keyboard, or
you could damage the internals. Finally, prevent scratches by carrying your
gaming equipment in a proper case. The Nintendo Switch is famous for getting
scratched when you lift the main system out of the dock, so use a perfectly
vertical motion to remove and replace it.

Fix
Common Hardware Issues

We never knew how good we had it back in the
day when all we had to do was blow in the end of an NES cartridge to dust it
out. Now, with advanced technology and many new moving parts, there are more
opportunities for system issues. If you know how to fix them, then your system
will last longer, and you can save money on repairs.

Gaming computers can often fail to boot or
display videos, so troubleshooting may be necessary. Start by
ensuring that all cables are secure, then try resetting the RAM or the video
card. If that doesn’t work, then go to a computer expert to avoid further
unnecessary damage.

The Xbox One X is an incredible gaming
machine, but even it is not without issues every now and then. Some of the most
common errors associated with the Xbox include
controllers that will not sync or games that frequently freeze. In both of
these scenarios, make sure that you have installed all recent software updates,
including controller firmware. If your Xbox shuts down unexpectedly, verify
that it is not overheating. If it is, turn it off.

The Nintendo Switch is continuing to take the
world by storm, but small complications may be inevitable. A typical issue is that the system will freeze
or not turn on at all. When that happens, the potential solution is to do a
hard reset by holding down the power button for 12-20 seconds. The same
solution has been found to work for a Switch that won’t connect to the internet
or recognize cartridges. These should not be recurring issues, but sometimes
these systems just need a second to recharge and then start from scratch.

When in doubt, refer to the user guide for
your particular system.

Avoid
Security Risks

Earlier this year, the gaming industry was hit
with the harsh reality that they are no longer immune to the risk of
cybercrime. A major public breach occurred when a hacker
gained access to the account of gamer PewDiePie and printed some of his
marketing material on over 50,000 printers across the government and public
sector. The event was particularly alarming because it proved that if a hacker
is able to print any information on someone else’s computer, imagine how easy
it would be for them to spread other gamer’s private info like phone and social
security numbers.

The point is that the advancement of
technology and the continuous data that flows through our systems could lead to
viruses, theft, or any other number of cybercrimes, so additional protection is
needed. A virus can be fed into your system by just about any
electronic pathway, from game installers and cheat files to shady game
emulators. The malware injected into your system can be used to steal
information, disrupt your networks, or break down your system altogether.

So how do you protect your gaming equipment
from these new threats? Make sure your firmware is always updated as new
versions will have patches and resolutions for old threats. When you are playing
in a public forum or with a chat room, refrain from sharing private
information. Also, keep your gaming account secure by using complicated
passwords that involve letters, numbers, and special characters. On that same
note, when you dispose of your consoles entirely, do so through the proper means so there’s no
chance someone could pry out the internal computer and steal any lingering
information. Finally, beware of phishing emails that look like authentic
messages but instead include a link or attachment that can create a doorway for
hackers when clicked or opened. It only takes one misstep for a savvy hacker to
crack your system.

Every year, video games evolve to a new level
never thought possible, and with advanced technology comes great
responsibility. Treat your gaming machines as the high-dollar gems that they
are, and you’ll have a system that lasts forever.