Tips on keeping your phone in pristine condition

For many of us, our phones are more essential than our wallets, as they contain invaluable data such as contacts, and memories in photos and videos.

Our phones go everywhere we go, and they will pick up scratches, dirt and grime over time. Here are six tips on how to keep your phone in top-notch condition for longer.

• Have a clean lint-free microfibre cloth within arm's reach to remove fingerprints and excess oil. For small harder-to-reach areas, use dry cotton swabs or a can of compressed air. Avoid household chemicals and disinfectants as they may damage your phone.

• Use a case and screen protector to protect your phone from scratches. They offer varying degrees of weather and drop protection.

• Be cautious around water, as moisture can be your phone's greatest enemy. Unless your phone is water resistant, avoid placing it near sinks and bathtubs. If you are heading to the beach or pool, take along a Ziploc bag to keep your phone dry and away from abrasive materials.

• Physical protection is not the only thing to look out for. Securing your phone and its data is just as important.

Update your phone software on a regular basis, and lock your phone using a security password or your fingerprint to prevent unauthorised access. Use a reputable mobile security app to ward off viruses and malware, and avoid installing apps from unknown sources. Finally, check before clicking on a link or address, and ignore it if it appears suspicious.

• Back up your phone regularly. Losing all your phone data can be a nightmare.

• Sign up for a care plan, such as StarHub's SmartSupport, AppleCare or Samsung's Concierge.

From as low as $10 per month, SmartSupport users can swop or replace their phones in as quickly as four hours simply by submitting a service request through a dedicated hotline.

Details can be found at: www.starhub.com/smartsupport

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2016, with the headline 'Tips on keeping your phone in pristine condition'. Print Edition | Subscribe