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Spring Clean Your Smartphone

Make sure your device is up to speed — and safe

photo of cell phone being cleaned

The Voorhees

It's a good idea to clean up your smartphone — both inside and out — a few times a year.

The battery loses its charge; the memory is full; apps are slow. If you're like most people, it's past time to refresh your smartphone.

In addition to being practical, making sure you know what apps and services are enabled on your smartphone is more important than ever, particularly in light of the ongoing Facebook/Cambridge Analytica situation. If you're a Facebook user, you can get tips on how to protect and manage your information on the social media site here.

Beyond Facebook, it's always a good idea to make sure your device is running as smoothly as it should be.

Here’s how, according to app creator Danny Anderson.

Back it up

Run a backup to the cloud on your phone, or connect it to your computer and follow the backup prompts. Do this first to avoid losing anything precious.

Delete apps

Get rid of any applications you haven’t been using. You can reinstall them later if a need arises.

Transfer photos

Use an online storage service — such as Google Photo or Amazon Photo (fees may apply) — to save your images automatically. Then delete them from your phone.

Turn off location services and app updates

Disable both automatic functions in the settings. Update apps only when you choose, and enable locations only when an app, such as navigation, requires it.

Kill old texts

Change the settings to auto-delete any messages older than a year. 

Make history history

In the browser settings, clear your history and web cookies.

Give it a wipe down

A study in the journal Germs found that some phones had 17,000 bugs lurking on the outside. Once a week, clean your phone with a disinfecting wipe, advises University of Arizona microbiologist Charles Gerba.

 

The battery loses its charge; the memory is full; apps are slow. If you're like most people, it's past time to refresh your smartphone. In addition to being practical, making sure you know what apps and services are enabled on your smartphone is more important than ever, particularly in light of the ongoing Facebook/Cambridge Analytica situation. If you're a Facebook user, you can get tips on how to protect and manage your information on the social media site here (https://www.aarp.org/home-family/personal-technology/info-2018/facebook-data-cambridge-analytica-fd.html). Beyond Facebook, it's always a good idea to make sure your device is running as smoothly as it should be.

 

Here’s how, according to app creator Danny Anderson.

 

 

Back it up. Run a backup to the cloud on your phone, or connect it to your computer and follow the backup prompts. Do this first to avoid losing anything precious.

 

Delete apps. Get rid of any applications you haven’t been using. You can reinstall them later if a need arises.

 

Transfer photos. Use an online storage service — such as Google Photo or Amazon Photo (fees may apply) — to save your images automatically. Then delete them from your phone.

 

Turn off location services and app updates. Disable both automatic functions in the settings. Update apps only when you choose, and enable locations only when an app, such as navigation, requires it.

 

Kill old texts. Change the settings to auto-delete any messages older than a year. 

 

Make history history. In the browser settings, clear your history and web cookies.

 

Give it a wipe down. A study in the journal Germs found that some phones had 17,000 bugs lurking on the outside. Once a week, clean your phone with a disinfecting wipe, advises University of Arizona microbiologist Charles Gerba.

 

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