Step 1

The first step to managing your smartphone data usage is to understand the following three things:

        a. Know the start and end date of your billing cycle
        b. Find out how much data you are allocated each month
        c. Understand what your data usage patterns look like

You can find the start and end date of your billing cycle and your monthly data allowance from your mobile phone service provider, on your paper/email billing statement or online account portal. Some cell phone providers have their own app or special text messaging code to look up this information in real time.

Android users can go to their phone’s settings and select “Data Usage” to view how much data you consume on your mobile phone and on Wi-Fi networks. This will also give you options to restrict background data usage on mobile networks.

You can also set alerts here to warn you when you are approaching your data limit and limit mobile data usage.  But beware, these phone alerts might only apply to your individual phone and may not accurately capture usage across multiple devices or on a shared data plan.

Step 2

Look for a Wi-Fi signal and use a secure Wi-Fi connection when possible, especially for heavy data usage activities like video streaming and downloading apps.

    A.  Set your phone to automatically connect to a secure Wi-Fi network

             a. Go to your device settings
             b. Turn WiFi on
             c. Log on to your wireless network
             d. Your device will automatically log on whenever it’s in range

     B. Disable Wi-Fi Assist

             a. Go to your device settings
             b. Go to Cellular
             c. Turn WiFi assist off

     C. Remember to make sure your are on Wi-Fi for large data activities

             a. Downloading apps: games, music, etc.
             b. Restrict apps updates to WiFi
             c. Save streaming for WiFi

     D. Turn off auto update for Google Play users

             a. Go to settings
             b. General
             c. Enable Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only

     E. Turn off auto download for Apple users

             a. Go to setting
             b. iTunes & App Stores
             c. Turn off use cellular data for automatic downloads
             d. Turn off apps that you do not want use automatic downloads

Step 3

Set-up alerts

     F. Create alerts through your mobile service provider

             a. Allow your service provider to alert you when you reach 75% and 90% of your data plan.
             b. Most smartphones allow you to set up alerts on your device through the settings tab under “Data Usage” but your cell phone service provider will have the most accurate and up-to-date information. Use this tool to set device options to limit data usage when you approach your data limit.

Step 4

Measure how much data you use and where to save

      G. Monitor which apps are using most of the data

             a. Go to your device settings
             b. Go to Cellular
             c. Review data usage
             d. This can be really useful for knowing which apps you can possible restrict and limit to secure Wi-Fi connections

Step 5

Download movies or music on your phone (or memory card) so that you can enjoy them offline.