Phones are more precious to us these days than certain family members. If you really want to take good care of your precious baby, then you should stop doing these eight things that could have a major negative impact on the use of your phone.

Not Updating Our Apps

Have you ever looked at your phone and noticed your little blue app icon has 50 notifications on there? Well, that is not good. You may think it’s fine to let it slide—what do the updates really do unless your friends are talking about it, like getting new emojis for instance?

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Sure, new makeovers are always great but actually, many things are hidden in the subtle details of updates that general users don’t know about. Updates often help to update security and safety for their users and their information that may be stored in the app.

It also is a way for the developer to see what users want out the app, as quoted in this Savvy article: “App updates can also help build a loyal following, provided that the updates include relevant bug fixes and features that users are requesting.”

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Think of that red number like dishes in the sink:, the more they pile up, the more work it will take to clean them later.

Letting Your Emails Build Up

Just like our updating of the apps number, but times a thousand. Plenty of people's phones have an email count higher than 3,000. While it would drive anyone with a sense of organization crazy, it can also drive your phone crazy.

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The more emails your phone is keeping track of that you may have to search through, the more that battery life that will diminish.

Most of the mail is probably junk but there could also be some messages that have important information in there that you’ll have to pull up at some point in time.

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For instance, if you have a flight and you need to check in and find your confirmation code, when you have to ask your phone to search for “Southwest,” then it has to circle through all those wasted messages which uses data and battery and wastes precious time, especially since check- in is done on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Using Unencrypted Public Wi-Fi

These days public Wi-Fi is as readily available as getting Starbucks coffee. You can travel to almost all parts of the world and find most places will offer Wi-Fi to their customers, which is great if you are abroad and want to save on data fees.

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There are numerous perks to using free Wi-Fi since we are basically always on our phones, but you have to be careful. There is a major difference between using certain networks that could make you extremely vulnerable to hackers.

If you ever find a network that does not require a password then that is an unencrypted network and anyone in range could look at the people who are on it, as well as any information typed in while using that network. Credit card info, social media log in credentials, bank statements—all the things you do while on your phone using Wi-Fi can be at risk.

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Try to only use encrypted networks, meaning the business you’re at will give you a password to login;, otherwise save the important data for home and try to never use a free Wi-Fi network you don’t know.

Closing Apps to Save Battery

Okay, we'll be the first to admit that we do this almost every other day because it just makes sense that closing apps helps battery. Besides, it is slightly cathartic, like having a clean apartment versus a dirty one.

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However, there is solid proof that clearing your background apps does absolutely nothing to save battery unless those apps are running in the background. If you have an iPhone, you can see which apps run in the background in your settings; go to > Ggeneral > Background app refresh. Mostly it’s maps or a music app, if you constantly have music playing. Other than a few exceptions however, closing your apps can actually slow your phone down and make it worse.

In this Wired article, the author explains how our apps actually have an algorithm and a five-step process for essentially going into sleep mode, and if we close them out then it’s like turning your computer off versus letting it sleep.

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As for battery, opening an app again will use more battery than if it were idle, just like how shutting off and then starting your car uses more gas than letting it run in park for a few minutes.

Using Geotags

These days almost everyone uses geotags on Instagram; it can add a certain flair to your post and also lets users know the location in case they want to check out the restaurant you're at, the hike you're doing, or the newest tourist spots. However, other apps can do it without your knowledge by having geotags set in default mode.

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When this happens and you’re posting in real time it can be incredibly dangerous; for example this is how Kim Kardashian was robbed in her Paris apartment. Her assailants were following her movements via social media.

Geotagging can also be dangerous for businesses as hackers can know when certain people are out of the country and are more susceptible to phishing scams. In this Netstar article the author says, “Cyber criminals are actively selecting specific businesses, and they're doing research before they strike. With social media, it's easy for anyone to find out who the bosses in an organisation are, or who works in the accounts department.”

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So while it may seem like a harmless tag to show that you're vacationing in Hawaii, just be mindful that it could make you easy prey to cyber criminals, business criminals, and even home invaders.

Using Those Cheap Chargers from eBay

It’s as is Apple knows this and they intentionally make their cords incredibly weak around the tips so they will fray apart and break. Then you’re stuck with the dilemma of spending $30 on a new name-brand charger or going to eBay and getting a three pack for $5.

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In this breakdown of knock- off chargers and real chargers, the author explains how bad it is for your phone to use the cheap ones because they can have certain inequalities and malfunctions which could damage your phone.

For instance, “A poor design can suffer several problems. If the output voltage is not filtered well, there will be noise and spikes due to the high-frequency switching. At extreme levels this could damage your phone, but the most common symptom is the touchscreen doesn't work while the charger is plugged in.”

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That happened to me with my last iPhone and it was like an infection; after the first time no matter what charger I used my touch screen would often malfunction. To compromise, I purchased the Apple charging block and an Apple-approved charging cord that won’t break. This solution has worked perfectly so far!

And you can lengthen the life of your $30 cord with these 5 helpful hacks!

Not Cleaning Your Phone

Where do you use your phone most consistently? Most likely those answers are: while sitting in bed, while stuck at a traffic light (even though none us should!), and lastly, while using the bathroom. And how often do you actually clean your phone afterwards?

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Think about how dirty your hands get through the day, as well as the places you rest your phone. And don’t even get started on the bathroom because this article summarizes it: “You’re putting yourself at risk of disease by transferring harmful germs such as salmonella, E. Coli and C. Difficile from the toilet to your hands and then to your phone, and then to your hands from your phone later afterwards.”

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While we can ask you not to take your phone in there in the first place, we all know that isn’t going to last, so try to order a microfiber cleaning cloth and give your phone a wipe down a couple times a day.

Not Using a Case (or Insurance)

There is much debate about whether or not to use a case to cover your phone, solely because of the way it looks. The thing is, how many of those people who oppose cases have dropped their phone and broke it requiring them to go out and buy a new one?

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There is nothing that resembles a true moment of panic like those three seconds it takes for your phone to hit the ground as it falls from your lap onto the hard floor beneath you, and the next three seconds that follow as you pick it up and pray it is not shattered.

The panic alone is not worth the stress of leaving your phone unprotected. Especially since these days they make cases that are super durable and nothing like the old school, ridiculous cases that made your phone look like a brick. Maybe we should rethink our current phone case altogether, these guys try to protect an iPhone SE by only using duct tape. 

If you really must have an unprotected phone, at least consider getting insurance to protect it. The extra $7 a month is nothing compared to shelling out a few hundred for a new phone.

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