Now more than ever, your phone is your lifeline to the world. As SARS CoV 2 — better known as COVID-19 or the new coronavirus — rips across the world, populations have been driven inside and told not to spend time around too many people at once. As a result, most everyone is relying on text messaging, video calling and social media to stay in touch and avoid contracting cabin fever.

Yet, you probably shouldn’t get too relaxed with how you use your phone. Even at home, disaster can strike, causing untold damage to your most precious device and leaving you stranded without the ability to contact the outside world.

Break Your Phone

While you can probably still access cell phone repair services, you don’t want to make the following mistakes that will surely break your phone:

1. Dropping It

Your phone looks sleek and solid from the outside, but inside, your phone is filled with extremely delicate components that only work under certain precise circumstances. Every time you drop your phone, you risk a component inside breaking, shifting or otherwise going awry; plus, drops can easily shatter your screen, even if your phone is tucked into a case. It’s best not to leave your phone perched precariously in a place where it could fall onto a hard floor.

2. Throwing It

We get it — times are tough. As if the threat of global disease weren’t enough, the need for social distancing and the economic downturn has put many people’s jobs in jeopardy, causing people huge amounts of stress. However, that doesn’t give you an excuse to throw your phone. Throwing is much, much worse than dropping because it imparts extra force into your phone, a force that amplifies the chances that something breaks. You shouldn’t even risk tossing your phone onto something soft, like the bed or the carpet, because you don’t want to be without your phone during these trying times.

3. Forgetting It

When you are out and about in the world, you take your phone with you, and because you don’t want to lose it, you know where it is at all times. When you are at home, you are more apt to forget where you last placed your phone — which means you are more likely to accidentally do damage to it. You should avoid putting your phone down in dangerous locations, like the roof of your car and the floor, where they can easily come to harm. In fact, you might try to keep your phone in just one or two places in your home, so you always know it is safe.

4. Bathing It

Many people turn to long, luxurious baths to soak away their stress, and you might bring your phone to the bath with you — so you can obsessively refresh social media and news websites to stay abreast of evolving conditions. As you can likely intuit, you don’t want your phone to come into contact with any kind of moisture; water and electronics simply do not mix. Unless you have a waterproof case, you should set your phone aside and truly disconnect during your bath time.

5. Flushing It

It happens way more often than you think. About 80 percent of men and 70 percent of women take their phones into the bathroom and use them on the toilet — which, by the way, is a good reason you should clean your phone as well as you wash your hands. Even if you aren’t scrolling through social media when nature calls, your phone could take a dive if it can slip out of your back pocket. While there are water-resistant phones and cases, you still don’t want your phone floating in your toilet bowl. You can try replacing digital entertainment with an old-fashioned book or magazine.

6. Washing It

It’s 2020, but some people still don’t check the pockets of their clothing before they toss them in the hamper. Washing machines are doubly bad for electronics: Water paired with intense agitation can shatter your phone even as it drowns. The key here is to be less careless with your devices and your laundry.

7. Chewing It

No matter how agitated you get during quarantine, you probably won’t start chomping down on your phone — but your furry friends might. Your pets will have unprecedented access to your most precious devices, and if they are young or improperly trained, it won’t take them long to snatch up your phone and chow down. Unfortunately, animal teeth are well-designed to pierce into the delicate inner workings of phones, so you should do your best to keep your phone well out of reach.

Your phone isn’t necessarily more at risk now than it was before COVID-19 swept the world, but that doesn’t mean you should be careless with it. Small changes in where you use and place your phone can keep it safe from significant dangers — but you should be able to repair your phone even if you do make a mistake.

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