How to sanitize your smartphone to reduce the risk of coronavirus
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a potentially deadly virus that originated in China and has quickly made its way around the world. At the time of this writing, over 127,000 people in 80 different countries have tested positive for the coronavirus. Because this particular type of coronavirus is so new, there are currently no vaccines to prevent the illness and no medications available to help treat the symptoms of COVID-19.
Even though there has yet to be a vaccine created for the coronavirus, there are still several things that you can do to help ensure that you do not become infected.
The best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is to ensure that the virus does not come in contact with your face. Our eyes, nose, and mouths are the gateway to our bodies. So, it is important to always wash your hands and try to keep your hands away from your face as much as possible.
Most people can remember to wash their hands after making contact with other people or objects used by the public. However, a lot of the time, they don’t take into account that their smartphones and other devices can be covered with thousands of germs and other bacteria.
In order to keep yourself safe from this fast-spreading virus, you need to make sure that your iPhone and other smart devices are germ-free. Keep reading to learn how to disinfect your smartphone without causing it any damage.
What is coronavirus?
The coronavirus is not something new. There are many different types of coronavirus that infect humans and animals every year and some types usually cause the common cold.
The type of coronavirus that we are seeing now, however, is referred to as the “novel coronavirus,” which literally just means that it is a new strand of coronavirus that has never been detected before. This new strand has been named COVID-19, which stands for “Corona Virus Disease 2019.”
COVID-19 symptoms are very similar to the symptoms that you would have if you had the flu. The symptoms can be mild or severe and usually include cough, fever, runny nose, and body aches. In extreme cases, some people infected with COVID-19 have reported shortness of breath, trouble breathing, and pneumonia.
Because it is a virus, antibiotics do not work on the coronavirus and other medications that are used to treat the flu also seem to have no effect on this illness. Instead, it is up to your immune system to fight against the illness. Usually, people who do not have a compromised immune system are able to fully recover from the illness in a matter of weeks and usually don’t experience any complications from the illness.
However, the impact on healthcare providers and institutions can be dramatic and the virus tends to affect more severely elderly people. We all have to do our part to help to keep the most vulnerable among us safe and contain the spread of the virus.
How to protect yourself from coronavirus
COVID-19 is spread through person-to-person contact. This means that you need to take the same precautions that you would take if you were trying to avoid getting the flu or the common cold. There are several things that you can do to help ensure that you do not become one of the many people who are infected with this virus.
● Avoid contact with someone who is sick. This may go without saying, but if you know someone who has been infected with the coronavirus, it is best to avoid contact with that person. The CDC recommends that anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus needs to be quarantined until they have tested negative for coronavirus on two consecutive tests.
● Avoid Close Contact. Obviously, it is hard to avoid direct contact with everyone. Crowded stores and public transportation can sometimes make it impossible to keep your distance from strangers. However, the coronavirus spreads when a person coughs or sneezes and the respiratory droplets are unknowingly inhaled by another person. If possible, try to keep at least six feet away from anyone who looks like they may have symptoms of the coronavirus.
● Wash Your Hands. It is important to wash your hands frequently. Be sure to scrub in between your fingers, around your thumbs, and under your nails with warm water and soap.
● Use hand sanitizer as a last resort. Hand sanitizer can kill up to 99.9% of germs. However, the sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol. If you are unable to wash your hands, hand sanitizer is a good alternative solution, but it should only be used if you can not get access to soap and water.
● Wear a mask if you are sick. Facemasks are only necessary if you are sick and planning to be around other people (i.e. at a doctor’s office). If you are caring for someone who is sick and they are unable to wear a mask, you can put a facemask on to prevent illness. But if you are not showing any symptoms of an illness and don’t plan on coming in direct contact with an infected person, there is no reason to wear a facemask on a regular basis.
● Disinfect frequently touched objects. Doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, smartphones, and other objects should be frequently cleaned with a disinfectant to help prevent the spread of germs.
How to sanitize and disinfect your phone
According to a recent study, on average, Americans touch their smartphones about every ten minutes; that’s means that people use their phones about 96 times a day. With that much use, you can imagine how many germs and bacteria may be lingering on your phone.
In fact, a 2017 study showed that a smartphone can become a host to a variety of germs and bacteria, including E.coli.
Also, viruses, like the flu and common cold have been known to last on hard surfaces anywhere from a couple of hours to up to a week. This means that when it comes to protecting yourself against the coronavirus, it is important that you disinfect and clean your phone regularly.
Even though there have been studies to show that the surface on a phone can have more bacteria on it than a toilet seat, people are still reluctant to clean their phones out of fear of causing damage to their phone.
Smartphones have a thin, protective coating over them that helps to protect them from the screen from getting fingerprint marks and scratches. So, when you clean your phone, you don’t want to use the same, abrasive disinfectants that you use on other glass and plastic surfaces.
While Apple strongly encourages users not to use bleach on their iPhones, the company recently released a statement saying that you can disinfect your phone by gently wiping it with a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe. You just need to be sure that you do not get any moisture into the openings of your phone and do not submerge your iPhone into any cleaning agents.
Here are the steps you need to take to ensure that your smartphone is properly disinfected:
- Turn your phone off and take it out of its case.
- Gently wipe the entire exterior of the phone with a clean and dry microfiber cloth in order to get rid of and dust or smudges that may be on the phone.
- Gently wipe with moist disinfectant wipes, like Clorox Disinfectant Wipes (Note: if the wipe seems excessively wet, wring it out first to ensure it is damp and not dripping).
- Let your phone air-dry for five minutes to ensure that the disinfectant wipe was able to kill all of the germs and bacteria.
- Gently wipe your phone again with a dry and clean microfiber cloth.
After you have cleaned your phone, you will need to repeat the process on your phone case. Even though most phone cases are made of durable plastic, Apple still encourages it’s customers not to use bleach on any iPhone accessories, especially leather surfaces.
Also, make sure that your phone case is completely dry before placing your phone back inside of it.
How often should you disinfect your smartphone?
Some experts have a hard time agreeing on how often you should disinfect your phone. Some medical professionals believe that you should be cleaning your smartphone as often as you wash your hands.
However, others feel that disinfecting your phone that much is unreasonable and unnecessary. At the very least, it is recommended that you clean your phone at least twice a week. If it has been a couple of days since you have last disinfected your phone, make sure that you wash your hands before eating and don’t eat while using your phone.
If you don’t plan on disinfecting your phone several times a day, there are a few things that you can do to help to ensure your phone is not being covered in germs.
For instance, try not to get your phone out too much when you are in a crowded public place. Also, don’t set your phone down at public places, like the gym or a public restroom. Furthermore, keeping your phone out of all restrooms will greatly help to reduce the number of germs that find their way to your phone.
COVID-19 is quickly spreading throughout the world. Just a few extra steps can help to prevent the spread of the virus.
As for Swappie, we clean all our phones twice, both before activation and before packing. We use ethanol-based products to make sure the phones are properly disinfected before shipping them out.