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The biggest mistakes you’re making with your smartphone settings

It’s something most of us use every single day, multiple times a day, but did you know you’re probably using it incorrectly? We’re obviously talking about our beloved smart phones; the tiny computer that’s likely snuggled into your palm right now.

Tech expert Avery Swartz breaks down some of the mistakes we’re making with our smartphones.



Failing to turn on “Find My iPhone” on an iPhone or set up Android Device Manager
If your phone goes missing or is stolen, this feature is a must-have!



Not turning off app notifications that are working in the background
These use data and drain your battery. To turn these off on an iPhone, go to Settings > Battery. On an Android, see what’s running and what could be draining your battery.

Not tracking your data usage
Use the free My Data Manager app to track what apps are using data on your devices, and how much data you’re using (this works for both iOS and Android devices).



Not using a passcode or touchID to lock your phone
Set this up! Even though it takes a few extra seconds to enter your passcode or put your finger on your phone to unlock it, it’s worth it for the added security.

Not updating the operating system and apps
Sure, the reminders to update can be annoying, but new updates to operating systems and apps often contain security patches that you really need.
Failing to use a VPN if you’re connected to public WiFi
If you’re on a public or open WiFi network (i.e. coffee shops, airports, etc…), your data is not secure. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) app to connect securely.



Not backing up your phone regularly
Just think—what would you do if your phone was stolen, went missing, or broke? Do you have all your contacts, photos, apps and information backed up? For Apple devices, use iCloud. For Android devices, use Google Sync and a cloud service like Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon, or Google Drive.

Not optimizing your photo settings to maximize your storage
The cameras inside our smartphones are amazing, and the high-resolution images they capture can eat up a lot of space. On an Apple device, you can go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage, and tick off “Optimize iPhone Storage”. There are step-by-step instructions here.

On an Android device, back up your photos to Google Photos and then delete them from your phone, or add more storage to your phone by adding a microSD card.