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    How to Use Your Phone Safely

    April 3 is International Mobile Phone Day because the first cell phone call was made on that date in 1973. The initial purpose of cell phones was to improve communication mobility. Modern technology has surpassed this function by far, leading to a new age of connectivity.

    Historically, there are very few examples of objects people have become so dependent on. Phones offer innumerable sources of information, entertainment, and news and feature personal, work-related, and social tools. They are like a small version of their users, their experiences, and their relationships.

    Most people own a smartphone or another mobile device. Phones are a huge convenience, but they can cause some health and safety issues. Here are some tips for using your phone safely.

    Use a Passcode

    Smartphones today can ask for a 4-digit code, but you can set up a more complicated code, a biometric lock like a fingerprint, or a pattern.

    Install Anti-Spyware and Anti-Virus Software

    Using anti-spyware and anti-virus software. Only download software from the official app stores. Some apps with free versions can protect you from malware being downloaded on your phone.

    Secure Online Accounts

    Phones usually have a cloud account to hold personal information and an online one with the phone company. Check your security settings. Change your passwords now and then to keep others from accessing your information.

    Deactivate Location Sharing

    Smartphones can pinpoint your location via built-in GPS. You have the option to share that information. Location sharing can be managed in your phone settings, where you can select what applications can access it. Alternatively, you can turn off your location altogether, which is the best option. You can manage your location sharing within some apps’ settings.

    Log Out of Accounts and Apps

    It might be a good idea to log out of accounts so that other people can’t access your profile if they have your phone. It’s safer to access the account through a browser. Your decision should be based on the extent of risk you face.

    Check Security and Privacy Settings

    Your phone or app settings can help manage your security and privacy, especially on social media like Twitter and Facebook.

    Delete Unfamiliar Apps on your Phone

    Review any apps you’ve downloaded and delete unfamiliar ones. It’s easy to forget you downloaded something, and some apps might be harvesting private data. Exercise caution before deleting an app if you’re worried it may be spyware or another type of malware.

    Use a Virtual Phone Number

    Virtual phone numbers let you send texts, make calls, screen calls, and receive voicemails without sharing your number. You can link your virtual number to a cloud account like Google Voice, so make sure all your accounts are secure.

    Don’t use Unlocked Phones

    Avoid using unlocked phones. Devices whose manufacturer’s restrictions have been removed are more vulnerable to attacks. In every event, avoid storing sensitive information on your phone. It might be a good idea to delete some voicemails or text messages from your phone and from Google or other connected cloud accounts.

    Phones and your Health

    Avoid extensive conversations, especially without the right headphones. Phones emit electromagnetic radiation, which has a heating effect on brain cells. Radiofrequency radiation goes through cells and damages body tissue over time. Long-term exposure to strong RF signals can harm brain cells, skin, etc. In the short term, you might experience dizziness or tiredness or get a headache from talking on the phone for too long. Obviously, you’ll give others a headache too.

    Try to Keep Your Phone Away from Your Body

    You should keep transmitting devices away from your body. If possible, keep your phone in a pouch or case in a bag, not on you. Put it far from your bed and turn off mobile data and Wi-Fi options.

    Cell towers constantly transmit signals to mobile devices to keep track of them. Look for a good SAR rating from the manufacturer.

    Use a Speakerphone or a Headset

    A reliable headset will reduce the risk of cell damage from electromagnetic radiation. Use speakerphone whenever you can.

    Bluetooth technology uses very low transmission power, which is why it’s considered relatively safe – if used in moderation, of course.

    David Novak
    David Novak
    For the last 20 years, David Novak has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV around the world, reviewing the latest in consumer technology. His byline has appeared in Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. He has also made radio appearances on the The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey RadioShow. He’s also made TV appearances on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show. His nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY, appears in over 100 newspapers around the world each week, where Novak enjoys over 3 million in readership. David is also a contributing writer fro Men’s Journal, GQ, Popular Mechanics, T3 Magazine and Electronic House here in the U.S.

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