For many of us, our mobile phones are vital components of our daily lives. So important, in fact, that when we are forced to go without them we feel lost, confused and alone, like we’ve suddenly been transported back in time to an unfamiliar and hostile land, with no idea how to get home.

Ok, a bit of hyperbole there. But if our phones are so important to us, why are we so bad at taking care of them?

Broken phone

We conducted a survey in partnership with YouGov to establish just how careless people are being with their phones. It revealed that one in three Brits have managed to break their phone, and almost the same amount (29%) have lost one.

Even more startling than the degree to which phones are being broken is the way in which some of them are meeting their end. Dropping phones on the floor, dropping them in water or the toilet bowl are fairly commonplace, but one survey respondent let his teething son suck on it, while another decided to prove his phone was waterproof by having his friend drop it in a pint of beer. It was not waterproof.

One survey respondent takes the top prize for mobile phone abuse, however: having been thrown into a pond, run over by a tractor and stampeded by cows, the phone refused to give up until it was faced with the heat of an industrial oven for six hours. The manufacturer should consider using that backstory in its handset advertising campaigns.

As for those who have lost phones, the same familiar locations came up time and time again: bars, clubs and restaurants, taxis and trains.

So how can we turn this around, and turn Britain into a nation of careful phone users? We’ve got five simple tips for keeping your handset safe and in one piece:


  • Designate a pocket – having a designated ‘phone pocket’ either on your person or in a section of your bag means it’s easy to check whether you do or do not have it with you. Soon, the phone pocket pat will become a regular, helpful habit.
  • Think of it like cash – Smartphones cost close to £400 on average, so ask yourself, how would treat a thick wad of cash if you had it in your hand? The answer is that you’d probably be a lot more careful with it than you are with your mobile.
  • Get a case – even a simple snap-on hard case can provide valuable protection against chips and smashes caused by an accidental drop. There’s so much choice out there now, not finding one you like isn’t really an excuse!
  • No children, or pets  – it goes without saying that you shouldn’t give your phone to children or pets to play with, but don’t leave it lying around where they might get a hold of it either. You may find it broken, chewed or dribbled upon. Probably all three.
  • Use a remote service – Since you’re loss prevention techniques can never be foolproof, take advantage of one of the many remote-tracking services currently available. If you’ve left it somewhere, your friend’s phone could tell you exactly where it is in flash.


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