Your phone in a COVID-19 world; 10 DIY steps to take now

Lockdowns are loosening, people are returning to public life and back to work. We all know the importance of washing our hands, but tech can help. Tap or click here for the best smart door locks to help prevent spreading germs.

If you are looking for work, there are legitimate opportunities. The worst thing you can do is Google “find a job.” Instead, visit my site where we have listed over 40 different companies that are hiring right now.

You’re probably spending a lot more time than usual on your phone since COVID-19 hit. Take a few minutes now to bring it back to its normal state as you figure out your new normal.

1. Look at your apps

Now that you’re not stuck at home, you may not rely on certain apps for education, entertainment or communication. Remove the ones you don’t need anymore.

How to delete an app on iOS

How to delete an app on Android

2. Reduce your cellular data use

You probably spent most of your time connected to Wi-Fi at home. Now that you’ll be out-and-about, you don’t want to accidentally hit your data cap.


Low data mode stops background syncing and app refreshes:


To enable Data Saver Mode:

RELATED: COVID scams are out of control. Tap or click for 6 ways to keep hackers off your network and computer.

3. Change the way your phone charges

When your charger is nearby, it doesn’t matter if your battery life and energy settings are optimized. But when you’re on the go, you’ll want your phone to charge quickly and last as long as possible.




Battery optimization is on by default on most Androids. Here’s how to check for Android 8.0 and higher.

4. Take a break


Post-lockdown, prepare yourself for a barrage of texts and calls. You can always activate “Do Not Disturb” to avoid feeling overwhelmed. But there will be certain friends, family or coworkers you want to hear from. Here’s how to exclude them from the Do Not Disturb rule.


To start, create a group of contacts.

Next, you’ll set up that group, or your contacts marked as Favorites, to ignore Do Not Disturb.



For Android, you’ll also start by setting up a group.


Next, select contacts or groups to ignore Do Not Disturb.

For individual contacts, take these steps.

RELATED: Want to learn something new? Tap or click here for 10 helpful iPhone functions or tap or click here for 10 Android tricks and shortcuts.


5. Make sure your camera and mic are off


Many of the apps you used for working from home or entertainment activate your phone’s camera and microphone. Leaving these features enabled means any website or platform can also access them. Here’s a way to protect your privacy.



Tip in a Tip:

If you use Zoom, you’re going to wish you knew these keyboard short-cuts before now. Mute and unmute yourself, stop your camera, quickly send an invite, and more. Nice!

6. Be ready if you lose your phone


If you lose your phone and can’t retrace your steps, use Find My Device. This lets you track down your Android or iPhone when it’s out of sight, and you can even remotely wipe your phone if it somehow finds its way into the wrong hands.

Turn on Find My iPhone for iOS

Turn on Find My Device for Android

7. Look at what you signed up for a during the lockdown


All those streaming services, games, and news subscriptions you signed up for are going to impact your wallet in a big way. Now is the time to whittle them down.



8. Connect to the right networks each time


Your phone automatically joins Wi-Fi networks based on how secure they appear to be. Instead, you can set your device to connect to preferred locations automatically and ask permission for unknown networks.




9. Silence your emails


Got an email chain with family or coworkers that never stops? End the nonstop alerts by muting certain email threads.

iPhone’s Mail

Gmail on Android

10. Finally, you’re back on the road

Set Do Not Disturb while you drive. Anyone who contacts you will get pre-written texts that tell them you’re in the car. In addition, your phone’s screen will stay dark, and you will not be notified until you come to a stop.



BONUS TIP: Give emergency personnel your stats even if you can’t

With the coronavirus pandemic, we’re certainly living in uncertain times. If an emergency occurs, you may be unable to inform someone of your medication allergies or medical conditions. But your phone can.

Tap or click here to set up your phone so that emergency personnel can see your medical history and medications.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Showon your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Copyright 2020, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at

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