Whether you splurged on your smartphone or opted for a budget-friendly device, a phone is a big investment. That means that you’re probably doing your best to keep your smartphone looking and running like new. But no matter how much time you spend clearing out old apps or ensuring that your software is updated, there are still plenty of ways that you can inadvertently damage your phone. (Dropping your phone in the toilet or shattering the screen on the sidewalk aren’t the only ways to do some serious damage to your device.)
Whether you’re planning on upgrading to a new smartphone within a few months or hoping that your current phone will last you for a couple more years, it’s probably in your best interest to make sure you aren’t inadvertently sabotaging your phone’s chances at a long Facebook-and-Minecraft-filled life. Ahead, check out nine ways that you may be accidentally damaging your smartphone — and figure out a few ways to stop the bumps and bruises before they result in a broken phone.
1. Installing malware
One of the biggest misconceptions about smartphones is that you don’t have to worry about security with them nearly as much as you do with your computer. But that’s a myth, and downloading apps at random without doing your research is a great way to end up with malware on your device. Malware ends up on your phone via an app, so it’s in your best interest to avoid downloading apps from third-party stores or clicking download links on suspicious websites, even if they show the icon and name of an app you think you can trust. Downloading an infected app is a great way to damage or even permanently ruin your phone, so your best bet is to only download apps from trusted sources, always be vigilant about what you’re downloading, and be careful about which apps you’re granting permissions, especially if you’ve rooted or jailbroken your phone.