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20 ways you could be accidentally damaging your smartphone

All of us are so reliant upon our smartphones. Helping us manage our personal and business schedules while keeping us constantly connected, informed and entertained during our hectic daily lives. They’re no longer a simple tool of convenience, but are we treating them with the care they deserve?

A recent study found broken phone screens alone cost Britons over £680m every year in repairs! Add to that the effect of other common issues such as water damage and it’s clear there’s a big problem with accidental damage in the UK. Which is very worrying when you consider all the important, personal information that we store on our devices.

Perhaps you think you take good care of your mobile? Check out our 20 ways you may be accidentally damaging your smartphone below – how many are you guilty of?

Cracked iPhone

And if you’re one of the millions of iPhone fans in the UK, you probably already know about the importance of protecting such an expensive and desirable gadget. That’s why so many owners arrange iPhone insurance through Gadget Cover.

Now let’s take a look at a few ways you could be damaging your phone, without even realising it.

  1. Not using a screen protector

We’ve all been there. Our phone has slipped out of a pocket or been accidentally dropped on hard ground while we’re trying to do three things at once. While the screens of modern smartphones are incredibly resilient, they’re clearly not unbreakable! The simplest way to stop damage is to install a screen protector. While they’re not perfect, they’ll help protect your screen from developing scratches and abrasions. Some protectors also reduce damage if you drop your phone, protect camera lenses and stop people snooping on your communications.

Protecting your prized iPhone’s screen is vital, so make sure you invest in the best iPhone insurance. Unlike some insurers, Gadget Cover’s policies even cover minor screen cracks.

  1. Not using a case

While we always hope an accident won’t happen to us, even the most careful owner can sometimes let their phone slip out of their hand and crash to the floor! Chips and cracks in the phone’s screen and body will increase the likelihood of further damage – and destroy the phone’s resale value when you come to upgrade later. If you really care about protecting your phone you’ll need to invest in a decent case.

Putting your beautiful iPhone in a case doesn’t need to ruin its good looks. There are so many great iPhone cases on the market there’s surely one to suit you. Just make sure it’s compatible with your screen protector.

  1. Buying cheap chargers and cables

A fact of life is that we sometimes need to replace a cable or charger for our smartphone. And we all see those temptingly cheap unbranded products on eBay and other shopping sites. Do we really need to buy a branded or official Apple cable or charger? Is there really such a big difference?

Unfortunately, many of these cheap cables can permanently damage your device or, worse, put you at risk of fire or electrocution. You might save money in the short term but it could cost you much more in the long run. So, buy your cables and chargers from a known reputable brand.

  1. Plugging in carelessly

Whether we’re tired or just in a hurry, we can all get frustrated with a fiddly phone charger. But being rough or careless when plugging the charger into your phone is always a bad idea. The tiny charging port is easily damaged, and over time can become broken beyond repair. If you find getting the cable and port to connect correctly is too much trouble then consider trying out wireless charging. Many of the latest gadgets support this. Or you could invest in a wireless adapter if you’ve an older phone.

And it’s not just the phone that can get damaged. By wrapping cables tightly or pulling them roughly out of the wall or your phone the wires inside can fray and become a fire hazard.

  1. Draining your battery

Over time all smartphone batteries will slowly degrade. However, while that might seem inevitable, there are ways to speed up this process. Meaning you end up needing a new battery (or new phone) much sooner. Allowing your battery to drain down to 0% all the time will eventually damage it. It’s much better to charge the smartphone once it reaches around 30% of battery power.

That said, leaving your phone charging for a long period once it’s reached 100% could generate excess heat and cause overheating and damage to your phone.

  1. Using a fast charger every day

Fast chargers are a brilliant way for you to get some extra power quickly when time is not on your side. However, many manufacturers don’t recommend using them every day. They advise that a slow and steady charge is better for the long-term life of your phone’s battery.

  1. Getting wet

Whether dropping your smartphone in the toilet (a very common occurrence) or just using it during a rain shower, getting your phone wet is an easy way to cause accidental damage. While many top-of-the-range phones now make big claims to water and dust resistance, getting your phone wet is not to be recommended. It might not damage your mobile immediately but over time, you’re asking for trouble! Indeed, research has shown that around 11% of Europe’s smartphones are damaged by water every year.

With iPhone insurance from Gadget Cover, if your treasured tech is damaged by splashes or even full immersion, we’ll repair it or replace it.

Water damaged phone

  1. Exposure to heat

While an overheating phone will typically shut itself off to prevent damage to its battery, if this happens repeatedly then it will eventually harm your phone. So, shielding your phone from the sun when you go to the beach, or switching it off if you have to leave it in a hot car will help keep your phone at a safe temperature.

  1. Exposure to cold

Extreme cold can also be harmful to phones but is rarer in our usually mild climate. An experiment by US science magazine Popular Mechanics showed that by -10°F some phones experienced battery problems, by about -40°F all had stopped working.

  1. Leaving it on 24/7

Smartphones are incredible machines and because we rely on them for so much, we can overwork them without realising. It’s common for many phone users to leave their tech on overnight in case of notifications or for use as an alarm clock in the morning. Unfortunately, our dedication to phone use could be harming our precious tech. After all, even smartphones need a rest once in a while!

Try shutting down your device at least once a week and rebooting after a rest. This will allow subsystems to be restarted. A good way to ensure a longer life for your phone.

  1. Filling up storage

With the number of apps, videos, photos and music we keep stored on our phones, the limited storage space can soon get filled up. While there are ways around storage problems if you find yourself filling up too often then you’ll soon see an impact on performance.

Do a monthly spring clean of your gadget and get rid of any apps or media you no longer need. If you really can’t get rid of anything, then perhaps invest in a bit more cloud storage or download your photos and videos onto another machine.

  1. Being careless about security

In times gone by, worries over malware and viruses tended to focus on our desktop computers. However, smartphones are in fact small pocket computers, and cybercriminals have now adapted their techniques to target them. From tracking your location, snatching highly sensitive data and holding your phone to ransom, there are many ways they can cause damage. Ignoring security problems is not a good idea –  cybercriminals can easily render your high-end phone completely useless.

Keep your OS and apps updated and stick to trusted sources like the iOS App Store or Android’s Google Play.

  1. Rooting or jailbreaking improperly

Some curious phone users simply love getting into their phones to see what makes them tick. Called ‘rooting’ for Android phones and ‘jailbreaking’ for iPhones it’s a way to bypass any limitations put in place by the manufacturers. For example, jailbreaking allows you to remove Apple restrictions that stop you from installing third-party software from outside the App Store. There are many reasons why restrictions are put in place and you can cause a lot of damage if you don’t know what you’re doing.

  1. A SIM-card lock that goes wrong

Some security conscious phone users recommend locking your phone’s SIM. A SIM-card lock requires your lock screen PIN, pattern, password, or fingerprint and SIM-card to be in place before the phone can be unlocked. It’s essentially a two-factor authentication, which prevents thieves from removing the SIM to stop themselves from being tracked.

This is a great idea but if you make a mess of it then your SIM-card can become useless and you’ll need to replace it. If you want to lock your SIM then take care!

  1. Keeping it in your pocket

An unfortunately popular place to keep a smartphone is in a trouser pocket. This is not a good idea. Huge numbers of smartphones are broken every year by being sat on or being dropped from a pocket while getting up. It’s also really uncomfortable if you’re wearing anything but the baggiest of trousers!

A flashy new smartphone hanging out of your back pocket is also a tempting opportunity for a thief. But if your phone is stolen, then don’t despair. iPhone insurance from Gadget Cover not only covers your gadget, it also covers the cost of unauthorised calls and data usage from your device.

  1. Walking while texting

Watch pedestrians on any UK high street and you’ll see hundreds of people staring down at their phones. Whether texting or just surfing the internet, they are being distracted by their devices rather than paying attention to their surroundings. From road accidents to slips and trips and even theft there are many ways this activity can damage your phone. Stay alert to stay safe.

Walking whilst texting

  1. Leaving it on a sofa arm

Whether you’re watching the FA Cup final or the latest Star Wars movie, it’s easy to forget you’ve put your phone down right next to you. A few bounces and drops to the floor soon add up to a substantial repair job. Get into the habit of putting your phone somewhere safe instead. It’ll also stop any interruptions to your viewing!

  1. Taking selfies on a night out

Alcohol, dancing and expensive technology simply do not mix. And holding your phone in one hand while trying to get all your mates in the shot is a recipe for a phone disaster! The odd spilt drink on your screen might not cause too many problems but don’t make a habit of it.

  1. Buying a cheap phone mount for your bike

Cyclists are spoilt for choice when it comes to cycling and map apps useful for two-wheeled travel. However, if you don’t invest in a decent phone mount for your bike then you could soon see your expensive phone bouncing along the road behind you!

  1. Giving it to your child

From rushing to get the dinner ready to waiting in a long traffic jam, sometimes parents feel like the easiest option to keep a child distracted is their smartphone. However, even with the best of intentions sometimes small hands aren’t always the safest for such an expensive item.

iPhone insurance from Gadget Cover

Whether you’re guilty of all or none of these, the dedicated team at Gadget Cover will search to find you an iPhone insurance policy to cover any model, and to suit any budget.

iPhone users in particular know it’s vital to protect these sought-after devices from the risk of harm.

Gadget Cover policies include protection from accidental damage, liquid damage, theft, breakdown and unauthorised usage. For an extra premium, your iPhone can also be covered against loss.

If you’ve invested in iPhone accessories, too, these are covered (up to £150) if they’re lost, stolen or damaged at the same time as your iPhone.

Your insurance is also extended to your immediate family. So, if a family member loses or damages your iPhone you’re covered!

Get a quick quote for iPhone insurance today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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