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Are you ready to get bricked?
All puns aside, before you say anything about the title of my post, there's an absolutely good reason that everybody should do since I don't want you ending up in a similar situation as I did.
The last thing you want is to find out that your phone either suddenly starts boot looping, being stuck on a black screen whether it's due to a software or hardware issue, or any scenario where you are unable to put your phone back to a completely normal home screen where nothing absolutely happens.
So to avoid that from happening, you need to follow these 5 dangerously useful things before you start having problems leading up to your iOS or Android phone being bricked for any future circumstances since I mostly did all these things out of habit without anticipating that my phone would ever get bricked.
Let's start putting these things into your head as a habit so you don't dread about what happened to your phone in the future.
The 5 Things You Have to Do Before Your Smartphone Starts Showing Signs or Problems of Getting Bricked:
1. Back Up Your Phone Every 3 Months at Minimum
Obviously, it's important to back up your phone. That's not much of a brainer thing to do as long as you don't forget.
But if you happen to back up your phone once every year and your phone happens to brick 5 months after (which was what I thought happened to me), then you're most likely going to be very frustrated with the amount of data you just lost, especially if it's something important for work or a passphrase that you never made copies for.
My minimum recommendation is that you back up your phone every 3 months regardless of whether you have important things or not, mainly because I want you to develop a habit out of it.
My personal recommendation is once every month or two since my iPhone got bricked due to a hardware issue in less than 2 months after the last backup and I absolutely freaked out when I thought my last backup was 5 months before the brick.
Luckily, I didn't really lose anything important other than screenshots I took to remind me of information for work purposes.
As for the number of backups you should have, making simply just one may be not enough for you.
I know I sound a bit cautious but in case if something goes wrong with the backup process such as the possibility of corrupted files, at least you have another copy that most likely isn't corrupted.
My minimum recommendation is making 2 separate backups, both of them stored in different devices in cold storage, if possible, such as an external hard drive.
My personal recommendation is to make 3 backups, if possible, through a free software.
In my case, I've just made 2.5 backups for my iPhone since I used iTunes, 3uTools, and a copy of my iTunes backup onto an external USB drive, hence, the "2.5 backups".
For Android, you can use Google Drive, Samsung Cloud, and any trustworthy 3rd party apps as long as you get at least 15 GB of free storage and that it automatically backs up.
But if you prefer storing onto a PC or cold storage instead since 15 GB can get filled up quickly, I suggest using MyPhoneExplorer, MoboRobo, Qmobile Android PC Suite, SyncDroid, etc. if you use Windows.
For MacOS, you have Android File Transfer, Smart Switch, SyncMate, AirDroid, etc. Your options are a bit more limited though when it comes to 3rd party free software.
You have a lot more free software options with Android than Apple so you can freely choose your pick.
2. Use a Password Manager
Not to be confused with the one that's automatically included in your phone's browser and asks you if you would like to save your password, I highly recommend using a 3rd party password manager for the sake of convenience since you can use it for both Apple and Android devices and your PC.
If you’ve seen this certain Google Chrome video ad online where the browser saves the passwords for you, that is a big red flag right there.
If your browser gets hijacked, then that means all the passwords that you've saved onto your browser are compromised and you would have to change the passwords for every account that you have saved.
However, this will happen a lot more with Android phones since they're much easier to hack than iPhones.
But despite iPhones being able to save all your passwords with iCloud keychain, if you didn't back everything up, then you're screwed.
You're even more screwed if you don't remember the password to decrypt it and you made too many incorrect attempts, resulting in Apple permanently deleting your keychain from their servers, which is why it's so important to use a password manager. At least they won't delete your passwords online should you make numerous mistakes.
For password managers, I highly recommend using ones that are open-sourced such as Passbolt or Bitwarden since they're much harder to hack unlike closed-sourced password managers such as LastPass which has been hacked before (but without any anyone's passwords leaking online due to their level of encryption).
If you're looking for better security, go with an open-sourced password manager.
If you're look for more user-friendliness, go with LastPass.
Either way, if you decide to switch your iPhone for Android or vice-versa in the future, at least you won't have to export all your passwords from your device since they're all saved on the cloud and the only thing you need to do is download the app containing your passwords online.
3. Use Authy Authenticator as Your Primary 2FA
Avoid Google Authenticator whenever possible.
I've read a situation online where a person had the offload apps option turned on for their iPhone and somehow, one of those apps happened to be Google Authenticator cause apparently, they haven't used in a very long time and their phone automatically removed the data for it.
So once that app was re-downloaded, all their 2FA codes for their accounts were gone, leaving them a feeling of despair and hopelessness of logging back into their accounts that require those 2FA codes.
(I'm just going to put this here for a more dramatic effect)
So this is why I 100% recommend using Authy Authenticator instead of any other authenticator app since all your 2FA codes are saved on the cloud and no one can access them without a decryption key, a password that only you know and created.
You'd better save that decryption key onto a password manager so you don't feel extremely dreadful when you get the password wrong multiple times or if you've completely forgot.
Plus, you're more likely to lose those 2FA codes if you use any other authenticator app if the backup feature sucks or doesn't exist at all.
4. Write Down Your Passwords, if Necessary, in Multiple Notebooks
While this step isn't necessarily required if you're using a good password manager, it's better to be safe than sorry.
But this is an absolute must if you’re involved in crypto, especially with those private keys and apps that are available on mobile devices only and not on PC.
Despite Apple's encrypted backups being able to restore your crypto wallets and seeing your seed phrases again, there can be cases where things can go very wrong such as data of certain crypto wallet apps that aren't included in the backup.
As for Android, you may or may not be able to recover your crypto wallets but I wouldn't know since I don't have first-hand experience with this and I haven't seen anything online about people's experiences with this yet.
In this case, my minimum recommendation is writing down your passwords on 2 separate notebooks minimum, just in case if your notebook gets damaged, residence catches on fire, you somehow lost it, or something like that.
My personal recommendation is writing down your passwords with at least 3 notebooks, divided into sections by alphabetical order, cause you can never be too careful with random situations that could happen to you in the future and I didn't think that far ahead when I started on mine.
5. Do [NOT] Download So Many Apps and/or Use High Energy Consuming Apps on Your Phone
If you like the idea of downloading a lot of apps on your phone, I highly recommend it if you want to increase your chances of your phone getting bricked faster, especially with Android.
Or if you like the idea of your phone overheating while using app since it's consuming your phone's battery quickly, I definitely recommend it if you like to shorten your phone's battery life quicker and possibly damage the circuit board, especially with iPhones.
In my case, I’ve had to factory reset my Amazon Fire Tablet twice, nearly had to factory reset an Android phone, and buy a new iPhone (due to it draining my battery and overheating as a result).
So how many is a lot or what apps should you use?
Well it depends on the sizes of those apps, how much space your mobile device contains, and how much it uses up the battery within a certain period of time.
If the size of these apps are small but you download a lot of them which don't take up a lot of space, you may likely brick your Android (in my case, my Amazon Fire Tablet twice).
If the size of these apps are small but you download a lot of them which take up almost all of your phone's space, you're much more likely to brick your Android.
If the size of these apps are large and take up a lot of space from your phone, you may or may not be likely to brick your Android depending on what app it is.
If the app consumes a lot of of your phone's battery in a short period of time, you're more likely going for a hardware brick regardless of whether it is an iPhone or Android due to it overheating.
So my personal recommendation for this is to install only apps you find necessary to use.
If the app uses a lot of the phone's battery, I would consider using Bluestacks if the app is available for Android, especially if it's a game that requires you to be consistently be on a lot.
If you install apps and don’t use them at all, I can likely assure you that those apps will haunt you in the future if your phone is an Android and you use it regularly.
If your phone is an iPhone, just make sure that to close down apps (the exception is your browser) when you're done using it just in case and check to see which apps you don't need to run in the background.
Bonus: Physically Cleaning Your Phone At Least Every Month at Minimum
Although your phone is very unlikely to get bricked from collecting dust, it can affect its performance with various results, especially with iPhones.
This is something I found out myself that a factory reset cannot fix since this has affected both my parents' iPhones with slow performances scrolling from their home screens and opening up apps so you will have to go to a repair shop to get it fixed.
So to avoid this kind of situation, I suggest using a microfiber cloth with a bit of 90% (minimum) isopropyl alcohol from a spray bottle to gently clean and disinfect your smartphone while it is turned off. Avoid the charging ports and any headphone jacks when cleaning.
If you're looking for a good deal for microfiber cloths, I do recommend using the ones from Amazon Basics since you get a lot of more value in the quantity you get compared to other brands while being higher quality and less expensive in value compared to the ones from dollar stores.
Just make sure not to use fabric softener when you put it in a washing machine otherwise it loses its effectiveness.