The Bad Mobile Habits that You Need to Break
Using a mobile phone is second nature to most of us these days, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re using yours right. We’re all guilty of a few bad mobile habits, and it’s in your own best interest to try and break these, or at least be aware of them. So, without further ado, here’s our list of the worst mobile phone habits…
Using the Same Passwords Over and Over
Yes, remembering a password can be a pain. Remembering a different password for every app you’ve download, plus a multitude of email accounts and the password for your phone itself can seem next to impossible. But by continually using the same password again and again you’re leaving yourself open to all kinds of things, including hacking and identity theft. Each account and app that you have really does need to have its own password. Don’t have a fantastic memory? Then try downloading a password app (something like LastPass, for example) to do the remembering for you. The last thing you need is to have all your data compromised because you used your dog’s name for every single password…
Using Your Mobile in Inappropriate Places
Okay, inappropriate is kind of an open ended word, but we’re thinking of two places in particular: the bathroom and the bedroom. Plenty of people head to the smallest room in the house with their phone in hand. Good idea? Probably not, and we’re sure you can guess the reason why. Studies show that your mobile screen is likely to harbour more bacteria than your toilet seat, and taking your device with you to, um, do your business, is hardly hygienic. If you really can’t tear yourself away from the screen for a few minutes, then at the very least you should be giving your phone an anti-bacterial wipe down when you’re done.
As for the bedroom, there are hosts of studies that show that mobiles in the bedroom do everything from interrupt sleep patterns to destroying intimacy in relationships. Staring at a glowing screen isn’t especially relaxing and can make it tough to sleep, so having your mobile in bed isn’t the best idea. If you need an alarm clock then try leaving your phone on the other side of the room where it’s less likely to disturb you. As a plus, you’ll have to get out of bed to turn the alarm off, meaning you’re less likely to hit snooze…
Not Backing Up
Ever lose your phone? Or get one stolen? Losing all your contacts, not to mention the pictures, videos and other data you had on your device can feel like having a limb cut off. And backing up mobiles is so easy these days that there’s really no reason not to. Most manufacturers will have their own programmes that let you back your phone up to your computer. Google account holders can have their mobiles backed up to their accounts, and even picture settings can be set on most mobiles so that photos synch with services like DropBox.
There’s no excuse to lose everything on your device any more. Take the time once a week or so to back up your data and if the worst happens you’ll be fully prepared. And as a bonus, when the time comes to get a new phone you’ll be all ready to make the switch.
Not Using WiFi
Yes, keeping WiFi switched on when you’re away from a signal will suck up your battery power like nobody’s business. However, wherever there is a WiFi signal, you should be logged onto it. Why? Because it will save you heaps of cash (plus you’ll get faster downloads). If you have trouble remembering to turn WiFi on and off then try downloading an app like IFTTT, a clever programme that lets you make recipes to enable your phone to do certain things. You should be able to switch WiFi on whenever your location shows you to be close to home.
Not Renewing Your Contract
Here’s a big one. When you sign up for a mobile phone contract your operator won’t necessarily tell you when that contract has ended. They’ll just keep on providing you with service and you’ll keep on paying the same old bill. Bad plan. Why? Because mobile service charges are getting cheaper by the second, and by not going to re-sign your contract (or even change it to a different operator) you could be paying well over the odds for your service. Keep an eye on those contract dates and make sure you get a new contract as soon as the old one expires.
Oh, the list of annoying mobile behaviour is so long. Walking and texting, conversations over speakerphone, yelling into your mobile, using your phone on the train or at the dinner table, not replying in a timely fashion to text messages. Alright, we’re not all guilty of all of these things, but it’s worth keeping in mind that there is such a thing as mobile etiquette. Just because you can use your phone doesn’t mean that you should. A little consideration goes a long way…
Charging Your Phone Overnight
The jury is still out on whether or not over-charging really damages your phone in any way, but even if it doesn’t you’re definitely wasting electricity by keeping your mobile plugged in all night, long after the battery is full. If you don’t have much choice but to charge your mobile when you’re in bed, then opt for an energy saving charger that will cut off once your battery hits 100%. It might cost you a few pounds, but you’ll save on electric costs, and you’ll know for certain that you’re not doing your phone any harm.
Not Paying Attention
Finally, you should always know what you’re getting into, and that means two things. Firstly, always read the terms and conditions when you’re agreeing to anything on your mobile (and that includes downloading new apps). And secondly, take the time to check out privacy and security settings both for apps and on your phone itself. You might find that default settings aren’t quite as secure as you’d like, or (especially for apps like Facebook) as private as you’d like. It’ll take a few minutes of your time, but that’s better than accidentally agreeing to something that you don’t want.
If you’re guilty of any of these bad habits, then maybe it’s time that you took action. You could end up saving some money, and you’ll definitely be happier, healthier and more secure, so what’s to lose?