10 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Smartphone
Smart phones are brilliant machines — they keep us connected, informed, and up-to-date. Smartphones are our source of GPS on the road, music at the gym, and communication (of massive amounts) at all times. How else would we text our friends “Here,” if we didn’t have a smartphone?
They’re a delicate piece of technology, even though they’re not always treated that way. But once something happens to our precious device, we have no choice but to run out and spend another $600 on a new one or run out and beg our carriers for a solution. (Let’s hope you backed up your data too!)
Don’t treat your phone poorly just because you just assume you’re going to get the next upgrade in a year or so. (Imagine if we did that with cars.) To ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, you can protect your smartphone and extend its life with just a few simple safety precautions and a couple of proper investments. Avoid the cost and inconvenience of a damaged smartphone by following ten ways to extend the life of your smartphone.
- Invest in a Case
As expensive as some cases are, it’s worth the investment. (Your cellphone is more expensive!) No case is going to prevent every possible type of damage, but purchasing a very sturdy case will give you the best odds of steering clear of a costly, upsetting, and just plain frustrating accident. (Regardless of whether or not you tend to drop your phone easily shouldn’t dissuade you from buying a quality case.)
As an added bonus, a sturdy case will add an extra layer of protection to the phone’s screen.
- Please, Turn Off Your Cell Phones
Sounds like you’re at the movies, right? When you’re asleep at night, your smartphone wants to be too. As a bare minimum suggest, shut your smartphone off at least once a week for thirty minutes. By doing this, you’ll ensure that caches are cleared and subsystems are properly restarted. (Remember, our phones do need some time off too, just like we do.)
Shutting down your phone once a week will aid with the longevity of the RAM on the device and also allow certain diagnostics to be run at boot.
But you’re not going to miss your cellphone when you’re catching up on some Zzz’s anyway (and who wants to be woken up by the sound of a text message at 2 in the morning anyway?)
- Back It Up
Whether you’re a student backing up your senior project on your computer with a Sandisk or a bookkeeper backing up a small business’ documents on Xero software, you know how important it is to have your information backed up.
As individual and business users alike, we depend heavily on our smartphones to keep contacts, pictures, notes, browsing history, and files intact on our phone, and one little incident with our phones can complete erase all your important data.
Cloud storage is one of the best ways to ensure that your phone never becomes stuffed with too much data. This will allow you to run a well-running device and also minimize the risk of data loss if something does end up going wrong.
Be sure to take advantage of any free cloud storage that comes with your smartphone and perform backups on a regular basis for achieving the best results.
- Install Anti-Malware
If you thought malware was just for desktops, think again. In fact, the threat of malware could do even worse damage on a smartphone than a computer.
Smartphone malware can track your location (no matter where you are) and snatch some highly sensitive data. Viruses come from malicious apps, so avoid downloading anything that seems suspicious, especially when it asks for personal information. It is imperative that you use caution when installing apps on your smartphone, and installing a protective app app like Malwarebytes to help your phone remain as protected as possible is highly recommended.
If you have an iPhone, the only way to get rid of a virus is by resetting your iPhone. If you have an Android, you need to put your phone into safe mode to delete the app.
- Don’t Expose Your Device to The Harsh Elements
Both heat and cold can wreak havoc on your smartphone. If you happen to leave your phone in the car during a scorching summer day or a freezing winter night, you may need to return to your carrier for a replacement.
Heat is actually worse for your phone, and at 113 degrees Fahrenheit, your device will be adversely affected.
- If You’re Not Going to Use it, Lose It
We all probably have old apps, games, and files on our phones which we don’t have use for anymore. Instead of letting these apps cause some serious lag times for us, delete them!
In many cases, this happens because the storage and RAM capabilities of the smartphone are being maxed out which makes your phone much less responsive.
To avoid any unnecessary issues, make sure to consistently remove any apps that you don’t actually need anymore. You can also delete photos, documents and text messages which may be causing your responsive issues as well.
- Keep it Away From Water
This may seem obvious, but you can’t always predict even the smallest drizzle of rain (which may even turn into a torrential downpour). Or, accidentally dropping your phone in the sink or another source of water. Many of us have been there, done that. Smartphones are extremely sensitive to liquid, and a few drops can cause extreme damage.
If you take your phone with you when going running, playing an active sport, or by the beach, purchase a waterproof phone. (And if it’s hot out, make sure your phone won’t overheat!)
In case your phone gets wet, leave it in a bowl of dry rice to remove the liquid and save its life.
- Put it in a bag — not your pocket
As simple as it seems to slip your smartphone in your jeans pocket when you’re on the go, it can actually snap in half if your pants don’t have enough spandex in the fabric. If your pockets are also too small and the phone can’t fit completely in your pocket, you’re putting your phone at great risk of falling out and dropping to the floor.
Also, keeping your phone in your pocket can put you at risk to radiation exposure, so it’s recommended to be kept in a bag or holster, not your pocket .
- Use Caution At All Times
Just as spammers hack into computers, they can hack into your phone too (and your smartphone isn’t smart enough to protect you all the time). If your phone falls into the wrong hands of someone (or someone gets ahold of your banking information/personal accounts), you can find yourself in some malicious situations.
A general rule of thumb is don’t be naive. Anything that appears even the slightly bit suspicious, whether it’s an unknown number calling you (the “IRS” during tax season), questionable text messages, emails, or spammy-looking web links, avoid them all cost.
Scammers are targeting smartphone users, and they can do this by spoofing a message, call, or email request to you to obtain personal details about yourself which you shouldn’t be tricked into believing.
- If You Decide to Upgrade, Wipe Your Old Gadget Before You Sell, Donate, or Recycle
Eventually, there does come a time when we need to upgrade our phones. For ultimate security and protection, make sure to wipe your old phone before you sell or recycle it. You definitely don’t want the information on your phone getting into the wrong hands.
You may have deleted your apps and files when trying to clear up some memory, but that is not enough. It’s not enough just to delete apps, files, photos, and videos, as hackers can easily recover deleted information. You’ll need to wipe your phone’s internal memory so that no trace of personal information is left behind.
Wiping your gadget only takes a few minutes, and it is 100% worth the effort. You treated your phone so well when you used it to extend its life, but don’t let your efforts go to waste!