* The Filofacts is a Shed project in progress – a collection of survival notes designed for steam-powered personal organisers.
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Smartphones and tablets on the move can deliver some nasty bills. Some are caused by the device switching to a mobile phone network if its first connection to the internet fails or goes down, but even using wi-fi can be expensive if you download big files in the wrong place, said Anna Tims in the personal finance section of Observer 17.05.15.
■ Phone settings can be altered to disconnect 3G while Wi-Fi is being used, to prevent the phone automatically switching to expensive networks while on home turf.
■ When travelling abroad, turn off data roaming to prevent your phone downloading data without you realising, and stick to Wi-Fi in cafes and hotels wherever possible.
■ Make essential downloads such as maps or books before you leave the UK, and avoid watching films or downloading music unless you have Wi-Fi.
■ Companies may charge for voicemail messages left on your phone (plus extra for actually listening to them) while abroad, so turn this facility off too if possible and avoid opening attachments in emails or loading photos on to social media.
■ Operators should cut your data connection once you’ve used around £40-worth per month, wherever you travel in the world, unless you choose another limit or opt out of the cap. If you do opt out, make sure you are aware of charges which apply regardless of whether you actively use your handset.
■ There are apps that compress the amount of data you use, and in doing so cut your costs. Onavo, for instance, promises to reduce data usage by 80% in 90 countries. It also has an app which monitors the amount of data you are using so you can keep tabs on cost.
■ Some providers offer packages with discounted rates for people going abroad, but be careful that when the bundle is used up the phone doesn’t automatically switch to standard rates.
■ A pay-as-you go sim card bought in the country you are travelling to, or a global sim from specialist UK providers such as Go-Sim, will ensure you only pay local rates provided your phone is unlocked, although it will mean using a different phone number.