Let's be honest, most of us wouldn't contemplate going to the toilet without taking our smartphone along. After all, you never know what you'll miss if you leave it unattended for even a few minutes.
So the thought of anything happening to your right-hand device is frankly a little bit terrifying. Yet, you could be causing some serious damage to your handset without even knowing it.
To help you keep your mobile in good working order, we've compiled a list of things you should never do to your phone. You have been warned...
1) Leaving it switched on
Everyone needs a break from the daily grind every now and then. And your hard-grafting smartphone is no different.
After all, there’s never been a category of gadget in history that we ask ask to do so much, so often.
The upshot of that all constant usage is that if you're not careful the internal components and battery can wear out much faster than you’d like. So you may end up saddled with an unreliable phone well before your standard two-year contract offers you a window to upgrade.
If you want your phone to last, turn if off once a week for about half an hour. Or an hour, if you can spare it. Then reboot it.
Doing this bit of basic housekeeping will ensure all you clear your caches properly and means that all facets of your phone, such as the Wi-Fi subsystem get some respite.
What's more, the little breakette makes your handset run smoother for longer too.
2) Letting the battery run down completely before charging it
Battery experts recommend you only charge the phone from zero to 100% once per month. That’s because doing so will shorten its lifespan.
Of course there are times when you’ve got to charge your battery from a standing stand. But if you can reserve this nuclear option for genuine emergencies, you’ll be grateful in the long run.
Better by far to charge your phone in short bursts, of no more than 40% or so.
It’s also smart to try not to allow your charge levels to fall below 20%, so you’re not forced to charge too much in one go.
Want to make your battery last longer? Follow our tips.
3) Larding your phone with apps and games to fill up storage
If your phone is laden down with photos, apps, clips and games, it’s going to perform less snappily.
But worse is it’ll also put more strain on the handset in the long run, as it struggles with tasks it could accomplish much easier if you kept your app tray tidy and got rid of applications you don’t really use.
4) Exposure to extreme temperatures
Sweltering summer temperatures are kryponite for smartphones, with overheating putting an extra strain on the handset’s key components.
So while basking at the beach as rays of sun kiss your crown feels great, there's a very real chance your phone is getting hot and bothered and could be suffering a case of sunstroke.
The good news is that smartphones have a self-preservation instinct that means they’ll shut down when they get overheated.
The bad news is that won’t save you if you keep on letting your phone overheat in bright sunlight. So do your handset a favour and give it a break by turning it off for a bit. Or find yourself a bit of shade.
5) Fast charging too often
Fast-charging modes come in very handy. But while evidence isn't conclusive, there are suggestions that it should be used sparingly.
We’ve found that some phones heat up quite a lot when you’re fast-charging them. And as we’ve seen above, heat can seriously impact on your phone’s longevity.
6) Plugging your phone in carelessly
Let’s be honest, we’ve probably all been guilty of this one. Whether it’s been a long day or big night, there are times you just sit there, trying to force your charger into your phone before realising you’re holding the charger the wrong way round.
But, while this is really easy to do, it can cause serious damage to your phone.
Tiny charging ports are actually pretty fragile. So, just trying to jam a charger in without realising it’s upside-down could ruin the phone’s ports, leaving you no option but to shell out for a new handset.
The upshot? No matter how sleepy you are, make sure you plug your phone in right first time.
7) Getting it wet
This is a fairly obvious one, but it still deserves a mention. Although more and more flagship phones come with some level of water-resistance, it’s still not a great idea to give your phone a regular soaking.
Remember, there’s currently no such thing as a completely waterproof smartphone.
So, if you can’t bear to be separated from your smartphone, even when you’re in the shower or trudging home in the rain, it’s worth investing in a waterproof case, regardless of what phone you have.
If your phone has stopped working as a result of getting wet, switch it off and take out the battery if it’s removable. You can then try fixing your water-damaged phone using rice.
If you’re constantly dropping your phone in the toilet or taking it out in the rain, it might be worth investing in a water-resistant phone. Check out our handy guide to the best water-resistant phones around.