When you think about how you use your phone, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Social media? Texting? Listening to music? Navigation? Shopping? With the advancement of technology, all these things can be done from the palm of our hand. With proper care, we can keep our “phone health” up to par with security, updates, and usage.
Never Updating Apps or Software
This is something I see time and time again that people fail to do. Some software updates are what we call “patches.” These patches fix small bugs and problems that test users have reported since the last update. However, other software updates are cumulative. These updates fix larger issues with the apps and are more secure. Personally, I wait to hear reviews about updates before I push them through. I try not to wait too long before updating so that the application does not become vulnerable to security threats. For applications, I have automatic updates turned on for the App Store. For iOS updates, I wait and read reviews before installing the latest version. Below are steps for turning on automatic updates on an iPhone:
- Step 1: Open Settings
- Step 2: Scroll down to General
- Step 3: Scroll down to iTunes and App Store
- Step 4: Toggle on automatic updates for the App Store.
Using Public Wifi
I’m just as guilty of doing this as anyone. Before my family switched to an unlimited data plan, I always looked for free wifi while I was out with friends. We all need to be conscious of websites, emails, and applications that we open on public wifi. It’s a playground for hackers that are trying to steal information. Password protected wifi is much safer and most likely faster than public. When hundreds and thousands of people try to connect to the same server, speed decreases dramatically. Using public wifi can be okay for quick, simple searches, but I would highly suggest to avoid opening sensitive data over a public network.
Posting Your Location
This one is a big one. Now it is easier than ever to track anyone and everyone. We’re all guilty of going on a grand vacation, going to a party, or visiting a new place and posting our location for the world to see on social media. Social media is a giant pool for anyone with harmful intentions to hack, track, and pursue anyone they are looking for. A good tip is that if you really want to post that location, turn it off after an hour or so. Or better yet, set the post or story so that only your close friends list can see it.
Using an Off-Brand, Cheap Charger
Some believe that this is a myth, but I’m a full believer that cheap chargers ruin the phone battery. Depending on the charger, the wattage transferred from the outlet to the phone may differ. Some don’t provide enough power causing your phone to charger for a longer period of time or lose power quicker. As your every day charger, it’s important to use a charger from a reputable company that will charge your phone properly. This will preserve the battery health as well. If you have a cheaper charger, my suggestion would be to keep it in the car, or save it as a backup in case your good charger dies.
Never Cleaning It
I should have put this as #1, but this is supposed to be more of a tech related article. I can guarantee only a small handful of people do this. Our phones go everywhere with us. Everywhere. That’s the society we live in. Think about all the places you bring the phone that might not be the most sanitary, such as the bathroom or public restroom, out to stores after touching shopping carts and several different products, and the gym. Granted, the stores and the gym are places we need our phones, but we (myself included) should start to form a habit of wiping our phones down with a wipe after being somewhere that may not be the cleanest.