When it comes to phones, there are many overlooked ways that can help keep it safe and running smoothly. We have compiled a list of six best practices to help you get the most out of your phone and keep it running like new. Whether it’s your phone’s physical or technical safety, or the safety of your personal info, there are simple ways to protect both.
Use a case and screen protector
One of the best ways to preserve your phone is to use a case and screen protector. Even if your phone model is very durable, repeated wear and tear can affect its performance in the long run. If you drop your phone and a small crack appears, this has the potential to cause large-scale damage in the future. Small chips and cracks can mess with the structural integrity of your phone which can lead to the malfunction of the electrical components underneath. When the screen is damaged, the touch functionality of the screen can be compromised. This means the phone may not respond effectively to your taps and swipes. When charging ports are damaged from drops, your phone will start to have charging issues as well. These problems can be both frustrating and limit you from using your phone to its full potential.
A cracked phone screen can also pose as a safety hazard to its user. Electric shock and fire risk are both possible when the electrical workings of your phone are damaged. Broken glass or acrylic can cut up your fingers and can prevent you from cleaning your phone appropriately. Your phone is something you are always touching, so you want to also make sure it’s clean from germs, dust, and dirt.
Keep your phone’s software updated
Make sure your phone’s software is up to date to get the most out of your phone and keep it running smoothly. When a new update is released, bug fixes and performance improvements are made available to you. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure you are downloading and installing all software updates on your phone. These improvements also contain safeguards against bugs, hacks, and malware which help keep your phone and information secure. Most phones have the option to turn on auto-updates and can complete these while you are sleeping at night. Just as phone software updates can improve your phone, app updates also improve your apps. So, make sure you are regularly updating your apps too.
Clear out old apps and text messages
Holding on to old apps and text messages are factors that contribute to your phone’s speed. Every app on your phone takes up some memory, and every phone has a limited amount of memory. When you hold on to apps that you don’t use, you are using up your phone’s limited resources. Only keep the apps you use frequently. If you can access an app in your browser, this is an option if you’re low on storage. Lite apps are versions of apps that are lightweight and take up fewer resources. For instance, Instagram Lite, Facebook Lite, and LinkedIn Lite are all versions that take up less space and data compared to their full-sized counterparts. Downloading these versions can help keep your phone running smoothly while still being able to use your favorite everyday apps.
Clearing out old text messages is a quick way to make sure your phone runs faster as well. This can be especially true if you and your friends and family send lots of pictures, videos, and GIFs back and forth. Although you may not notice it immediately, holding on to old texts has the potential to slow your phone down. If you have too many texts stored on the phone, your texting app can take longer to open and respond. This can be frustrating when texts don’t send as quickly. To avoid these problems from occurring, it is good practice to delete old text messages whenever you can.
Keep a PIN/lock on your phone
Another good practice is to always have a lock on your phone. Whether this be a number sequence, a pattern lock, fingerprint unlock, facial ID unlock, etc., having one in place is the first step in protecting your personal information. If you have a newer model smartphone, you can set up facial-recognition security which requires a quick glance to unlock your phone. To make a number passcode more secure, try using a number that is difficult to guess. This means that you should avoid consecutive numbers, repeating numbers, or numbers that contain personal information – like your birthday or address. The same is true for pattern locks. You should avoid common shapes, like triangles and squares. If a stranger was glancing at your phone, you would want to make sure this pattern wasn’t easy to remember and replicate.
Also, many phones have the option to change how many attempts a person can guess the passcode before the phone is disabled. Try not to set this number too low in case you accidentally mistype your passcode. Overall, having a passcode that is hard to guess will deter others from trying to get into your phone. In the instance that your phone is stolen, this makes it harder for the thief to access your personal data.
Only download apps from trusted sources
Just because an app is on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store doesn’t mean it is automatically safe. Although these companies frequently remove apps that are unsafe and contain malware, some apps can slip past their security measures from time to time. To avoid these bad apps, it is important to know how to spot a trustworthy app.
First, it is important to check the reviews. Avoid apps with reviews mentioning that they are scams or contain malware. Even if the reviews are mostly positive, these can be fake. Check for reviews with lots of specific details. If the reviews are short and generally contain the same phrasing, it is safe to assume that these are fake. It’s also important to check how many downloads the app has. If an app has only been out for a couple of months or a year, and already has millions of reviews, it can be possible that these numbers have been artificially inflated. This can be done with bots or fake accounts. If an app is real and a huge success, then you would more than likely be able to find some articles written about it on the web.
Also, always be sure to check the permissions list for an app. If an app asks for access to permissions that do not align with the app’s features, then this could be a warning that the app is trying to access your phone’s personal information. When in doubt, if anything looks suspicious, just move on. There are millions of apps available for download and you can find a safe alternative that would more than likely do the same things.
Use trusted cables and wall adapters
Using cheap charging cables or wall adapters that are not from a trusted manufacturer can lead to damage of your phone. Spending a few extra bucks and purchasing from a credible and known brand can save you from having to buy a replacement phone in the future. Cheap cables can cause power surges in your phone, and this can cause your charging port to become damaged. Without a functioning charging port, your phone will not be able to get charged up and you would have to pay to get it repaired.
Treating your trusted cables and wall adapters properly is also another good practice to have. If you frequently toss your cable around, you could cause the inside wires to fray. This is another safety hazard. You can avoid this by not pulling on the cord when you unplug your device.
So, there you have it. Six simple, yet essential tips to get the most out of your phone to keep it running smoothly. Keeping your phone functioning smoothly will make your user experience much more enjoyable. It can also save you time and money on future repair bills and replacement phones.
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