FOX 8 Defenders: Cleaning your smart phone

FOX 8 Defenders: Cleaning your smart phone

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Between summer vacations and back-to-school activities, your smart phones may have been working overtime. Especially the camera! With the holiday season not that far off, now may be a good time to do a little spring cleaning for the fall.

Think about it.  First day of school, summer of 2016 beach trip, and your good friend's wedding are all examples of special memories captured on your smart phone.  But those pics may be a few of several hundred that are actually stored on your phone.  If you want to keep that phone performing well, consider cleaning it.

"When you first buy a phone there's nothing on there," said cyber security analyst Nam Nguyen. "There's no messages, no emails, and there's no apps, and therefore the phone is like super duper fast. As you start using the phone, the messages pile up. The email and the apps also pile up, and then it starts to get slow."

When it comes to your photos, get rid of the duplicates or the ones you don't want, and back up the ones you cherish.

"If it's very important to you, I think you should store it on more than one device. Perhaps you have it on your computers or maybe you have it on an external drive you can buy," Nguyen said.

A quick search online shows external hard drives starting at $52 on up, depending on how much space you need.

What about old text messages? I found some on my personal phone that go back more than year. Most are text only, but there are some photo and video messages, which can also clutter a phone. Nguyen suggests cleaning those text messages often.

"I try and go through my messages once every three months," he said.

Too much clutter, he said, could make a difference in how fast your messages send. It's also a good idea to freshen up your contact list. Run through your directory - you might find contact information stored on your phone for people you don't even remember.  Purge the list, and that will make searching your contacts a little easier.

Then there are the apps you've downloaded - those take up a lot of space and can drain your battery. Maybe you loaded one a year ago, but you checked it only a few times and never visited it again. Nguyen says that app could continue to run in the background because it's one that tracks your location.

"You might have made a password there and then if you just delete it, it doesn't just delete your account. It just deletes the app on your phone. Before you decide to delete it, you might want to go on there one more time and try and un-register or close your account first and then you can delete it and rest be assured it's all gone," Nguyen said.

In doing that, he said you're protecting yourself from potential hackers.

These are all simple, spring cleaning tips ahead of the fall that will reduce your loss for one if your smart phone is lost, stolen or damaged, and you'll experience better performance.

The FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women also field consumer complaints at 1-877-670-6397 or you can fill out an online complaint form. 

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