Getting started with new gadgets

The iPad Air and iPad Mini with retina display were revealed at an Apple event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. (Apple)

December 26, 2013 11:54:17 AM PST
Did Santa bring you a smartphone, tablet or Kindle this Christmas? If so, you probably have a bit of work to do before you start using your new gadget.

First, take a moment to protect your device in case it gets stolen or you leave it behind on a plane.

Turn on the screen lock setting and set a pass code. It is the easiest way to keep your information safe.

You should then download or activate any lost-device features.

Apple has "Find my iPhone." Android devices use the Android device manager.

Next, buy a case for your device. Broken and scratched devices can cost hundreds of dollars to fix.

And unless you want your new toy to be a drain on your finances, find a good way to monitor your usage.

Apple and Android devices allow you to track data usage, under settings. You can also install third-party apps to monitor usage.

Video and music streaming apps chew through tons of data, so make sure you are on a wireless network before you stream your favorite shows.