Have you ever had a question about your phone but been afraid to ask? Or have you searched tirelessly online for an answer to what you think is a simple phone question without any luck?
If either of these situations sound familiar, you probably aren’t alone. In fact, chances are there are lots of people with similar queries.
Below are a few common smartphone questions and answers to hopefully clear some stuff up for you.
Q: What is a cooling off period and how should I use it?
A: If you take out a mobile phone contract and then are offered a better deal from your old network or find a better one elsewhere, you are allowed to get of the contract, fee-free. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, you will have a 14-day mobile phone contract cooling off period if you’ve entered into a contract over the phone or online. This starts the day after you’ve purchased the service. However, make sure to cite the relevant legislation when explaining your reason for cancellation.
Q: Can I get out of mobile phone contract before the initial contract term is up?
A: Yes, in most cases but you may get charged a pretty sizeable fee for it if you don’t act within the initial cooling off period. Usually you’re charged the equivalent of how much it would cost to complete your minimum term contract, so there often isn’t a financial incentive to cancel. Of course, rules do vary between providers, so be sure to check the conditions around cancellation in your contract before making a move. Some providers will offer an exception if you’re looking to cancel because they’ve increased their prices during the contract or if you’re not receiving adequate service.
Q: Are all apps safe to download?
A: No, not at all. There are some bad ones out there so you need to be sure that when you download apps, you do so from an official store like Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. It’s also worth taking a look at reviews and the app developer to make sure they’re safe to download. Reviews might also help to flag any 3rd party display messages that are hosted on the app and might be harmful.
Q: Is it safe to do online banking on my phone?
A: Historically on smartphones you would not be able to run more than one application at any one time while you used online banking services. Consequently, it was unlikely that any other malicious programmes would be running in the background, as long as you’re using a secure internet connection. However, now multiple apps can run at once, meaning there is a greater chance that malicious software could attack your phone. Nevertheless, banks do have lots of security protocols in place and most won’t allow you to take money out using a mobile app, only check your balance and transfer money between your own accounts.
Official banking apps are usually considered to be safe, so if you have to do banking via your mobile, consider downloading your bank’s official app. If you’re unsure if the app is genuine, follow the guidance above.
Q: How can I protect myself against fraud on my smartphone?
A: The golden rules are to keep as little personal data on your smartphone as possible, don’t download anything you haven’t verified as genuine first and never use an unsecured WiFi connection. Doing these things will automatically make you safer. However, you should also consider using the PIN function, wiping your browsing history regularly, and avoiding storing password reminders on your smartphone.
Q: What do I need to do if I decide to sell on or recycle my phone
A: Delete all personal information from the phone’s memory and remove the SIM card. If you don’t need the SIM card again, it’s probably best to wipe it and destroy it.
Knowledge is power
Mobile phone providers have dedicated help teams who will be happy to answer any queries you have, big or small. It’s important to have an understanding of how your phone works, how to fix little problems and what you can and can’t do safely. This will ensure you get the best out of your phone for as long as possible.
*Please note that the answers contained within this article are intended to reflect general information rather than specific advice to be relied upon. You should always check that the information is appropriate to your own circumstances