phones carrying germs

Clean your devices and be selective about connections – especially when traveling.

Sorry, but your cell phone might be a germ warehouse.  It rests on counters, drops on floors and gets handled all day long.  I know that it is disgusting, but think about it.  Yuck.  On a more positive note about your precious phone – experts say that while most phones are covered with germs, they are the same bugs we encounter every day and they probably won’t hurt you.  Still, I wash my hands when I get home, so now I will wipe down my phone periodically, especially after travel.

 

The PhoneSoap 3.0 charges your phone with wireless Qi technology and sanitizes it with UVC light. It accommodates the Apple iPhone X, Xs and Xs Plus, Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, Google Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and other large phones.  The inner dimensions, (the sanitizing space) is 6.8” L x 3.74” W x .78” H. PhoneSoap 3.0, $99.95.

 

 

 

 

PhoneSoap XL UV Sanitizer and Universal Phone and Tablet Charger – Fits all Phones and Tablets up to 12.4″ x 3″ x 9.75″.  PhoneSoap Tablet Sanitizer and Charger. $118.99

 

 

 

There are several ‘old school’ ways to sanitize your phone and tablet, but you need the right supplies. Many device manufactures warn against cleaning with bleach or alcohol.  If you have a case and a screen protector, you can disinfect these surfaces.

Microfiber lens cloths, Six for $7.99.

 

 

 

 

Single use moistened lens wipes.  210 Wipes for $15.99.

 

 

 

 

Most phone and tablet manufacturers say not to wipe with alcohol, but you can wipe the case.  50 wipes for $34.28.

 

 

 

 

Wipe the case down with bleach. Clorox Bleach Germicidal Wipes, 50 Individual Wipes. $35.32

 

 

 

 

Modern airports, hotels and coffee houses offer UBS charging stations.  When traveling, this overcomes the inconvenience of needing different adapters in each region and you don’t need to carry big plugs.  There is a risk.  USB connections are designed to transfer data, so a determined hacker might be able to install a virus through a USB.  The good news is that Smart Phone manufacturers are building in protections and most now require ‘authorization’ to transfer data.  Your device will ask “Do you trust this source?” before data is transferred.  You can add protection for your device while charging by putting a power bank between your device and the USB port.

You will get protection and back-up power by using a USB buffer when you plug into a public USB charging station.  These credit card sized chargers are available for iPhone, Android and USB-C.  Plug it into the USB charging station and plug your phone into it.  You get digital protection – and you’ll always have an extra charge.  $29.

There have not been many incidents of ‘hacking’ the chips in ‘smart credit cards’ and experts are mixed on whether we need to use RFID blocking technology. This inexpensive Faraday Bag seems like a worthwhile precaution, especially in airports.  $8.99 or $21.99 for a more robust version.

Be wary of free public Wi-Fi which you often find in airports, hotels and coffee shops. Don’t open personal accounts, especially bank websites and don’t send sensitive information like passwords.  If your phone is set to ‘Auto-connect’ to available Wi-Fi networks, you should turn this feature off when traveling.  Choose the networks you join.

 

You should disable the automatic Blue Tooth connectivity on your devices when you travel.  Just like Wi-Fi, you want to choose your Blue Tooth pairings.

Smart Phone and Tablets makers are constantly updating software to stay ahead of hackers.  Update the software on your device to make sure you have the most current protection.