Technology for parents & kids: Hints, tips, online safety strategies & more.
Chances are that you and your cell phone are seldom separated. Statistics from Pew Research have shown that 2/3 of Americans who own a phone either sleep with their phone or keep it right next to their bed.
So what can you do to make sure nothing happens to your precious window to the outside world? Here are 10 tips to take better care of your cell phone or smartphone to help it last at least the full two years of your contract.
Buy a Case to Protect It – This may seem like a no-brainer, but even the simplest of protective cases will help protect against the inevitable accidental falls that your phone is going to take. Invest at least $25 in one to help protect your phone.
Improve Battery Life – Constant connections and multiple apps can drain your battery, so make sure you’re closed out fully of any apps you’re not losing, and if possible keep location-sharing services to a minimum. You should also disable any push notifications, and at least turn the phone to airplane mode if you’ll be traveling in and out of signals a lot.
Install Anti-Virus Software – Spotting viruses and malware has become second nature on personal computers, but it’s a lot trickier on mobile devices – and potentially more harmful considering the ease with which you use your phone to connect with others. Check out software from companies like Lookout Mobile Security or Webroot to keep your phone safe.
Managing Memory – To keep your phone running quickly and smoothly, don’t push the limits of its storage capacity. Keep some free space available, and remove photos and videos quickly after you’ve downloaded them. Cloud storage makes it easy to keep much of this information off your device’s physical memory.
Password Protect – Use a password to protect your cell phone when not in use. Many apps keep users signed in, so if your phone falls into the wrong hands it’s easy to access social networks as well as sensitive information like bank accounts or cell phone accounts. Using a password is an easy step to take to prevent harmless pranks, but can be a life-saver if your device is ever stolen.
Protect Payment Options – Cell phones are used for much more than just phone calls these days, and many store payment options with your account. Keep your accounts clear of personal information when possible, and never store credit card information on your phone.
Keep it Clean – Give your phone a good cleaning every couple of weeks, and consider using compressed air to blow dust or dirt particle out of crevices, especially if your phone still has physical buttons.
Install Anti-Theft Software – Tracking apps can be extremely useful if your phone is stolen, but also in helping locate family and colleagues. You can use anti-theft software to see your phone’s location on a Google Map, provided the phone is connected to a network.
Think About Temperature – Phones don’t like being too hot or too cold, so don’t leave it in the bathing sun next to you when sunbathing, or exposed to the wintry air on cold December days. Try and keep your phone the same temperature you like to be, and it will work better for longer.
Give it a Safe Home – There’s a place for everything, and everything in its place, and your cell phone should be no difference. Create a safe, peaceful haven at home with a charging station. Getting in the habit of leaving your phone in the same place will also help prevent you from losing it.