Smartphones are only useful when they work properly. Since most users take them everywhere and use them for practically everything, they’re incredibly prone to misuse and damage.

For the most part, iPhone-killing accidents are unintentional, unexpected and unavoidable. But there are a variety of ways that you could be inadvertently destroying your iPhone. Or, at the very least, decreasing its lifespan.

For example, you might’ve heard that all chargers work the same, or that most smartphones are water-resistant, or that people no longer need screen protectors. There’s some truth to some of these statements, however, things are not as straightforward as they seem. And so we’ve taken the time to create a list of many common practices regarding iPhone usage, while also explaining the problems associated with those practices.

But first, it’s always important to remember that iPhones were never “cheap.” They’ve become increasingly expensive, and so we should view these devices as investments. With that being said, users need to pay close attention to how they’re treating those investments and ensure they’re using best practices so that their iPhone holds maximum resale value.

Even if you don’t plan to sell your iPhone, keeping it in great shape and perfect working order can be achieved by adhering to a few of these simple rules.

Continue reading to learn about 7 ways you’re ruining your iPhone – we’ll also discuss preventive measures you can take to ensure that your iPhone runs well for as long as possible.

7. Using Fake or Damaged Chargers and Cables

Damaged Apple cables or poorly made third-party cables can cause damage to your phone and can even be dangerous in certain cases. In fact, according to some electronic repair companies, using a sub-par cable can lead to permanent damage to a device’s logic board and other sensitive electronics.

  • Refrain from using cheap third-party cables.
  • Check your Apple-certified cables for any tears or damage. Throw away and replace any damaged cables.
  • If you choose to charge your iPhone wirelessly, get your charger from a reputable brand.

6. Using It In Extreme Temperatures

It’s best to keep your phone out of the elements. That might sound obvious, but that also includes leaving your phone out in the sun or in a parked vehicle — even on a day that’s only mildly hot.

  • Overheating can permanently ruin an iPhone’s internals even with its built-in failsafe.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, extreme freezing temperatures and weather can also result in avoidable damage.
  • Apple recommends that you don’t let your iPhone reach below 32° or above 95° F.

5. Using Older iPhones In Steamy Environments

Everyone knows not to get a smartphone wet, but that also includes keeping it out of the bathroom when the shower is on. It’s basic science: hot water results in steam. Steam can cause some wear-and-tear to the externals of an iPhone, and if it enters the device, can possibly short-circuit your hardware.

  • It’s best to keep your iPhone out of the bathroom when taking a shower.
  • Some exceptions could be iPhone models that are water-resistant. Currently, that’s the iPhone 7 and up.
  • Apple’s iPhone XS models are incredibly resistant to water, although it never hurts to take extra precaution.

4. Using Improper Cleaning Products

While a clean iPhone is nice, it’s important to only use cleaning products specially formatted for use on displays.

  • A bottle of household window cleaner will typically contain chemicals that can eat away and damage the protective coating on your iPhone’s screen.
  • Use a clean, lint-free microfiber cloth. A paper towel or napkin can scratch the display glass.
  • Safe microfiber iPhone cleaning kits are available on Amazon for extra peace of mind.

3. Not Using a Screen Protector

We carry car keys and house keys around with us each and every day, which are notorious for leaving nasty marks on even the strongest smartphone displays. Even more dangerous is beach sand.

It’s true that smartphone displays have gotten stronger over the years, but it’s also true that they still get scratched.

Use a tempered-glass screen protector. They’re incredibly affordable, easy to install and they’ll help your iPhone retain its resale value.

2. Dropping It

This one seems obvious, but there are a few other things to keep in mind about dropping your device. For one, even if your screen wasn’t cracked, a drop can still harm your phone.

  • Dropping your phone regularly can result in damage to its internal components — and even a sturdy case won’t protect it entirely. Use a case anyway.
  • Sometimes a drop is unavoidable, but it’s best to be vigilant about dropping your device constantly.

1. Jailbreaking It

Sure, jailbreaking an iPhone seems great in theory. But in practice, it can lead to a whole slew of negative side effects.

  • For one, your iPhone will no longer be eligible for important security and software updates.
  • Jailbreaking can also result in a less stable iPhone that can crash consistently.
  • Worse still, it leaves your personal data open to attack since it bypasses iOS’s strong security measures.
  • Not to mention that many unofficial apps are loaded with malware. It’s best to just avoid it.