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What to do if your phone gets wet

*Another in our Tech Series from SecureTheBeast.com

The importance of smart phones in our lives cannot be underestimated. A fact not lost on anyone who has ever dropped one in the toilet, knocked it into a sink full of dishes, or, in the case of recent hurricane victims, ​ plucked it out of knee deep water from a flooded living room. If your phone gets wet, you have problems. 

​Your phone is no longer just an expensive high tech toy to keep tab on the progress of your social interactions, it quintuples its value as an indispensable tool for basic survival. Contacting loved ones, staying apprised of current and developing weather conditions, or summoning help from the roof top of your home literally turns your phone into a lifeline.

As Elizabeth Weise writes in a 9-2-17 post on the USA Today website,

“Without a phone, those affected by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath can easily drop entirely off the digital map. Smartphones are increasingly how Americans access the digital world. A survey by the Pew Research Center late last year found that for 12% of American adults, their smartphone was their only access to the Internet.”

The fear of accidentally dropping your phone in the drink is second only to losing it at a hacker’s convention when it comes to generating maximum personal angst. Even so, it happens all the time. So if your phone gets wet, there are a few steps you can take that ​just might save it.

Most importantly: Power OFF you phone

First, power off the phone. And don’t try to charge it or turn it back on to test it. Powering up a wet phone can quickly exacerbate the demise of the electronics.  Both air drying and the homespun method of placing you phone in a bag of uncooked rice will leave a majority of the moisture inside your phone, even after 48 hours. By that time, your phone might be too late to save.

Take your phone to a phone drying company

Phone drying companies DryBox and TekDry offer a service that uses a vacuum chamber that lowers the pressure around your phone and applies heat to boil away the water inside it in as little as 30 minutes. Because water boils at a lower temperature at lower pressure, the reduced heat doesn’t damage the phone.

These phone drying companies claim a 50-75% success rate for phones that are brought in within 36 hours.  TekDry offers their services at about 600 sites nationwide, but not in Houston ​.So during Hurricane Harvey, they brought in a mobile phone drying unit to rescue and help charge as many phones as they could—for free.

Unless you have a water resistant phone like the certain Samsung and iPhone models, assume that the miracle of technology that just ran through the wash cycle inside your jean’s hip pocket will need this high-tech solution to save it.

Be sure to visit www.SecuretheBeast.com to stay up-to-date with the rapidly expanding threats to your online, home, and mobile security, and find the solutions that improve your safety and security in an increasingly technological world.

About Kim Stone

Kim Stone was a horticulturist, writer, and editor of several publications for the University of Arizona at Boyce Thompson Arboretum over the better part of three decades. He is now happily self-absorbed in freelance writing, travel, and content marketing.

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