Smart Phones Can Get Dirty Inside and Out
If you're one of those people who is constantly texting or talking on your smart phone, then prepare to be grossed out. A new report from the Wall Street Journal shows that smart phones are hotbeds of baceteria that can cause unpleasant illnesses like pinkeye or the flu if not cleaned properly. Unfortunately, some cleaning products aren't effective in getting rid of the bacteria, and others can damage or harm phones.
Dr. Jeffrey Cain, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, told the news outlet that germs love the warm surfaces of our phone. Couple that with the fact that we are constantly pressing them against our ears and up to our eyes and noses, bringing them to restaurants and gyms, and it's easy to see why they could pose a health threat.
"We're feeding the little creatures," Michael Schmidt, professor of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, told the news source. "We've all seen that greasy smear on [on the touch screen]. Where there is grease, there are bugs."
The news source gathered eight cell phones from a Chicago office and sent them to a laboratory for testing. While the phones were free of E. coli and staphylococci bacteria, they all showed high numbers of other types of germs.
Sharing phones with a fellow employee or loved one can only make the situation worse, as this can pass germs from one person to another. Business owners who provide office smart phones to employees may want to cut down on the number of devices being shared by allowing workers to bring their own cell phone to the office and use a second phone number to screen out personal calls.
If you're worried about the the bacteria found on the outside of your phone, you should make efforts to clean the inside of your phone, too. Microsoft reports that individuals can enhance their cell phone security by installing anti-virus software on their device. Some links may try to fool you by making it look as though you have to click "agree" or "ok" to close out an advertisement, but always look for an X instead. Additionally, when browsing on your mobile device, be sure to read over all security warnings and cell phone privacy statements before installing new apps.