Phones are a significant investment. There’s the money you laid out to purchase it, the precious data you’ll keep on your device, plus the time you invested setting it up perfectly. It would be a shame if anything easily preventable occurred and damaged your new phone.

If you want to keep your phone safe and sound, follow these tips on how to care for your phone:

Back it Up

Back up everything that will save automatically. This is a no-brainer with Apple and Google. Google backs up your contacts, some of your messages, you can use the Drive to back up your files, and Gmail stores data for you. Apple offers iTunes and iCloud.

Physically Protect Your Phone

Cracked phone screens are the number one cause of smartphone damage. This is probably because we use our phones so often. Think about it – if your smartphone is always in your hands, you’ll probably drop it at some point.

Purchase a protective case so you won’t need to repair your phone. Tempered glass is your best option, but this is expensive. You can get protective cases on Amazon, and at a variety of stores. Thes thick plastic cases fit snugly around your device. They’re available in any color or design, so you can have fun accessorizing.

You’ll also want to invest in a screen protector, a thin strip of plastic that you apply right to your phone’s screen. This will protect your screen from scratches. It’s not much on its own, but with the protective case, it’s an extra bit of protection.

Find a Home for Your Phone

Find a place where you can always store your phone – preferably a cool, flat surface where you can charge it. Good places are not crowded with clutter and not elevated. That way, if you knock your phone down, it won’t suffer from a big fall. If you keep your charger in your phone’s home, you’ll be more likely to keep storing it there.

Only Buy Authentic Phone Accessories and Chargers

Yes, when you’re in a bind, buying a charger at the gas station is convenient. So is borrowing a charger from a friend with a different model of phone. But this can do damage to your smartphone, so be sure to use name brand accessories exclusively.

Physically Care for Your Phone

Use an alcohol wipe once a week to clean your smartphone’s exterior. Just make sure you don’t use a substance that could seep into your phone and damage it, like lotion, baby wipes or water. Keep your phone out of harm’s way too. If it’s raining out, don’t use your phone outside. Don’t use it around water, and try not to eat or drink with your phone in hand.

Recharge Your Phone Correctly

Recharge your phone on a regular schedule. Apple recommends you keep your battery charged anywhere between 40-80% and that you charge your battery to 100% then let it drop to zero monthly.

Upgrade Your Storage

If your smartphone is low on space, you can extend the storage by purchasing an SD card and inserting it into your smartphone. You can use your SD card for media and files if you can’t run apps on your SD card.

Continually Update Apps, and Download Them from Safe Places

Constantly take stock of the apps on your phone and get rid of the ones you don’t use. Google has an app called “Files” which can look out for apps that don’t get used so you can uninstall them. The more apps running in the background, the shorter your battery life will be.

Keep the apps you do use updated. Developers release updates to correct bugs in the code and to improve apps in some way.

When you download apps, avoid third-party sources. Use Google Play or Amazon, or the Apple Store to obtain the latest and greatest apps.

Take these tips to heart and you will thank yourself in the future when you drop your phone, watch a friend deal with water damage, preserve battery, and avoid Malware. Your phone means a lot to you, so it’s a smart idea to take preventative measures to cut problems off at the chase, rather than get stuck dealing with them later on after they occur.