Top ten tips to avoid mobile phone misery on your summer hols

BRITS travelling abroad this summer should follow the ten commandments of mobile phone usage if they want to avoid a hefty bill or a lost handset when they’re overseas.

The new Top Ten Holiday Tips list was compiled from hundreds of suggestions from customers of mobile phone insurance specialists

In recent years a growing number of mobile phone owners, especially those with smartphones, have accumulated huge bills when they have been on holiday, some running into £1000s.

Now has published its Top Ten Holiday Tips to ensure the annual summer break doesn’t end up costing more than the price of the flight and the hotel combined.

  1. Be careful that an App on your smartphone doesn’t use the internet to update information and therefore cost you huge data rates.
  2. Use the internet on your phone very sparingly, unless it’s over wifi.
  3. Ask your provider to cap your data usage to a level you’re confident you’d not go over. So if your phone is stolen you know the bill is capped if you can’t block it.
  4. Busy users should consider buying a local Pre-Pay SIM card but make sure it will allow you to call home if need be. Remember the number will be different!
  5. If you’re travelling to a less popular destination make sure there is a roaming agreement with that country’s providers and that calls are reasonable.
  6. ‘Free minutes’ bundled into your rental are unlikely to cover calls from abroad.
  7. Remember the PIN on your phone protects use of the phone, but if someone took your SIM card out and put it into another phone they can then use this to call.
  8. Be aware of your surroundings when making calls. A top of the range iPhone is just as attractive for people to pinch in London, Cape Town, Moscow or Mumbai.
  9. Block your mobile as soon as you can if you think it has been stolen or lost.
  10. Uploading pictures to Facebook etc can be very expensive. Take care and don’t try to make those at home too jealous!

Duncan Spencer, managing director of, said it was vital that people followed the top ten tips to avoid getting caught out abroad. “It’s all too easy to forget these simple rules when you’re having a relaxing time overseas, but it really is essential otherwise you’ll pay a high price on your return. And always check with your network operator if they have any special holiday offers.”

“It’s also crucial that people stay on their guard from a theft point of view. It’s all too easy to forget security when you’re having a good time, but that’s when your phone is most at risk.“And with many people using their phones as cameras these days you could lose treasured memories alongside the handset itself.” offers overseas cover on all its policies for a standard 30 days a year including, accidental damage, theft and loss – so no need to worry if your iPhone slips into the pool or gets stolen while you’re out to dinner.

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My Gadget Buddy

Traditionally we invest in insurance for things that are large purchases – we invest in home and car insurance, or insure specific costly items.

As technology progresses and gadgets get smaller, we find that we’re carrying around more and more expensive kit – I personally carry a netbook, an iPad and a smartphone. If I dropped my handbag, I’d be considerably out of pocket.

If this is worrying you, Rock Insurance have come up with a new plan to allow you to protect your gadgets for a small monthly premium. See for more details.

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Unflattering Facebook photos top new poll of weight loss triggers

Pics of muffin tops, bingo wings and double chins on social networks make Brits more body conscious than ever before. This summer one in five Brits will be spurred on to get into shape after seeing themselves tagged in an unflattering Facebook photo or holiday snap.

The new research by Fitbit, America’s fastest growing fitness and wellbeing brand, revealed 20% of Brits now consider themselves to be more body conscious since the possibility of being tagged in a photo on Facebook or other social networks. And a third have had to de-tag themselves as they were embarrassed to appear fat and unattractive to their Facebook friends!

In fact, when it comes to getting in shape, Facebook shame came above preparing to bare all on holiday (17%) and not being able to squeeze into a favourite summer dress (16%), the traditional triggers to losing weight for summer.

Of course, when we do feel good about ourselves then we are more willing to be posted across social networks, with 40% more likely to share photos of themselves when content with their shape.

In the research of 2,000 Brits by One Poll, other key weight loss triggers include partners (14%) and healthcare professionals (11%) telling us that we need to shape up, seeing a friend or family member lose weight (7%), trimming down for a wedding (6%) and seeking a sex drive boost (4%).

The new Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, now available in the UK, helps monitor and manage weight, BMI and percentage body fat and syncs to the Fitbit profile, providing an overall picture of weight and fitness goals.

The Fitbit Aria (£99.99) is available to order now at and and Apple stores.

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Father’s day gift for the dad who loves to read

For the dad who loves to read, the Kobo Touch eReader is a great father’s day gift.

The Kobo Touch is an of eReader that delivers a straight forward, clutter-free reading experience. Neat and compact, it’s a great travel companion which fits easily in your pocket. You can carry more than one book with you and it won’t weigh you down.

There are over one million free books and great savings on current printed books. Kobo Touch will allow users to read and store up to 1,000 eBooks, expanding to 32,000 with an SD card. It’s  light and stylish with a signature quilted back for comfort, which comes in four great colours: including blue, silver or black – perfect for dads.

Available at WHSmith Retail Stores or online at, John Lewis, Asda and Sainsbury’s

The Kobo Touch Edition £89.99 – Ultimate reading experience: lighter, faster, and with touch!

· Simple and intuitive touch screen navigation, that is just like reading a book with Real Touch™ technology

· Weighs just 185g

· Wi Fi connection to shop and browse the Kobo eBook store at home or on the go

· Free Previews – free excerpts of 15 popular books ready to read

· Newest E Ink 6 inch Screen with Pearl Technology and featuring 16 level grey scale for the sharpest reading experience

· A selection of fonts and font sizes, to customise your reading experience

Freedom to shop wherever you like

· Kobo supports ‘open’ books, which means you’re not restricted to buying titles from one site – you can shop around for the latest books from ‘open’ eBook retailers meaning more choice and always a competitive price

Freedom to read wherever you like

· Light and compact the Kobo Touch can go anywhere, but if you want to share your book with any other device you can

· Once you have bought your book, it’s yours to share with free Kobo eReading apps for smartphones, tablets and computers

Freedom to share your thoughts

· For the first time, avid readers can share their thoughts in the world’s biggest international book club, Reading Life

· The Reading Life function allows you to see the books friends have read and ask them for recommendations, see the books you have in common and invite friends to join Kobo via Facebook or email

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Charge your iPhone at festivals with the Eton Mobius

The Eton Mobius (cool name!) is an iPhone case with extra battery charge and solar power perfect for festivals or enjoying the outdoors. One hour sun gets you about 25 minutes talk time, 20 minutes of internet use, 35 minutes of video playback and more than two hours of audio playback.

This neat rechargeable battery case has been designed for the iPhone 4 that features a solar panel, a quick charge time and the ability to store charge until you need it. The high-efficiency monocrystal solar panel re-charges the 1800 mAh Rechargeable lithium ion battery pack on the back of the case.

Mobius can also be charged via computer using the Micro-USB cable and will sync with iTunes. Once the battery has been re-charged, the user is in control as to when the extra battery power is used. Mobius features a standby switch to turn off direct power transfer to the iPhone 4, allowing the case to charge and store energy in its own battery – only using the power when you need it.

The durable and ergonomic battery case has both a battery charge and solar charge indicator, so the user always knows the power status of the Mobius.

Visit, price £69.99

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