How to use your smartphone as a tool for good

Your smartphone is great for staying connected with your friends and family, playing games, browsing social media and watching funny cat videos. But it can also be a tool to make positive social progress in our world.

Whether you’re looking to make change in your community, hold your lawmakers accountable, or help those less fortunate, your smartphone can be an important tool for good. Here are some quick tips to help you get the most out of your phone to make a positive difference.

Register to Vote

One of the best ways to make your voice heard and create change is by exercising your right to vote — and that starts by ensuring you are able to access the ballot box in your community by registering to vote. Our grantees at Vote.org have a number of simple tools you can access right from your smartphone or computer to check your voter registration status, locate polling places and dropboxes, access your ballot information for upcoming elections, and, of course, tools to help you register to vote.

The first 2022 primary elections are only a couple months away, so it’s never too early to check your voter registration status and register to vote. Visit Vote.org to learn more.

Donate surplus food to people experiencing hunger

Here’s a stunning statistic: Food waste accounts for roughly 30-40% of America’s food supply. And another stunner: more 38 million people, including 12 million children, are considered food insecure in our country.

What if we could ensure some of that perfectly good but potentially wasted food can be donated to people experiencing hunger instead? Thankfully, we can, and your smartphone can help.

If you’re a business owner with surplus food, or know someone who is, our allies at Feeding America have an app, MealConnect (iOS and Android), that will connect businesses with extra food with local food banks in their area. It’s easy to sign up, connect to a local food bank, take photos of your food, and wait for a volunteer to pick up the food.

Not a business owner? Use this tool from Feeding America to find a food bank near you who is currently accepting food donations, and find out which foods they will accept (self-stable and non-perishable) and not accept. 

Support people facing online harassment

Research shows that four in ten Americans have experienced online harassment, with women and BIPOC communities more likely to face severe online abuse. Our grantees at Hollaback! are working to end harassment in all its forms by transforming the culture that perpetuates hate and harassment. One of the main pillars of their work is bystander intervention by training people to respond to, intervene in, and heal from harassment.

HeartMob is Hollaback!’s digital platform designed to provide immediate support to people experiencing online threats, doxxing, impersonation, DDoS attacks, swatting, and, more recently, zoom-bombing. 

The HeartMob platform provides peer support, resources, and documentation for individuals experiencing online harassment. Bystanders are given tools to take concrete actions that reduce individual trauma and help build safer online spaces. User’s experiences are validated, their mental health supported, and their accounts remain secure, online, and generating content without disruption. To date, the platform has provided tools for internet users who have provided over 9,370 bystander interventions against harassment and abuse. HeartMob won Netroots Nation’s “best new product” award in 2016 and received an endorsement from the New York Times editorial board. With HeartMob, everyone has a role in providing support. For more information, or to take action against online harassment today, see iheartmob.org

Start a Petition

Maybe you want your city council to protect a local watershed, you’re fired up about combating climate change, or you want Congress to protect your community from gun violence — and you want to take action now. 

Luckily, you can start a petition to get your neighbors — or activists across the country — to join you and get the attention of important decision makers. Our friends at MoveOn.org have an easy-to-use, people-powered tool that allows anyone to build a petition on the issues you care about to let you start gathering signatures right away.

To learn more and get started creating your own petition, visit https://sign.moveon.org/.

Record an interaction with law enforcement

In 2020, a bystander’s cell phone video turned the tide after the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in bringing his killers to justice — and ignited a national reckoning for police reform and racial justice.

Today, everyone who owns a smartphone holds the power in their hand to ensure accountability and their own safety by recording interactions or misconduct with law enforcement. Our grantees at the Electronic Frontier Foundation believe you have a First Amendment right to record your interaction with the police, as long as you are not interfering with their official duties. 

Our allies at the American Civil Liberties Union offer a mobile app that helps you easily record, witness and report police interactions and misconduct right from your phone. The app also lets you add additional information, share your location and include contact information for follow up from the ACLU affiliate. The free app is available for iOS and Android on the ACLU’s website.

Here are some additional resources if you are interested in learning more.

Brady United is reducing gun violence in our communities, thanks to CREDO members

For more than 40 years, our partners at Brady: United Against Gun Violence have been uniting gun owners and non-gun owners alike in the fight against gun violence. With programs that tackle the root causes of America’s gun violence epidemic, Brady works to ensure that every community is safer.

In May 2021, CREDO members voted to distribute $57,360 to help bolster Brady’s on-the-ground programs in areas most impacted by gun violence, help the organization take the gun industry to court, promote safe gun storage, and more — with a goal of reducing gun violence 25% by 2025. 

Here are some recent victories and highlights of Brady’s work, thanks to funding from CREDO members:

Combating Crime Guns Initiative (CCGI):

Brady’s Combating Crime Guns Initiative works to shift the burden of gun violence from the shooters to the suppliers of crime guns, including irresponsible gun industry actors who prioritize profit over public safety. One way the group accomplishes this goal is through enhancing gun dealer inspections.

Enhancing Local and State Gun Dealer Inspections

Not content with simply revealing gaps in enforcement, over the past year Brady has also looked for ways to directly improve gun industry oversight. Knowing that states and localities with appropriate authority can conduct their own gun dealer inspections, the group developed a predictive algorithm to help state and local police departments prioritize inspections. Developed by analyzing thousands of pages of inspection reports for gun dealer characteristics and violations, this tool can predict ‘high-risk’ gun dealers 4.5 times more accurately than random selection.

Over the past year, Brady’s Crime Guns team trained police in one state on how to implement this ‘inspection optimization algorithm’ into their existing gun dealer oversight practices. In just its first two weeks of use, this predictive tool identified one gun dealer that was repeatedly violating state law by not recording ammunition sales. Despite having been in operation for years and never having followed this specific state law, state police had no plans to inspect this dealer until the shop was identified by our algorithm. This was an extremely promising start to Brady’s long-term work improving gun dealer inspections across the state. Brady will soon be bringing this tool to a state where a law was recently passed requiring local law enforcement to conduct gun dealer inspections.

End Family Fire (EFF)

End Family Fire is a national public service advertising campaign from Brady and the Ad Council that debuted in August 2018. EFF recognizes that gun owners are an essential part of the gun violence prevention movement—and can prevent tragedies through safe gun storage. Grounded in extensive market research on the gun-owning population and their gun storage behaviors, EFF engages in a direct dialogue with gun owners, inviting them into the conversation about protecting their families and keeping our communities safe through responsible gun ownership.

Suicide Prevention Campaign

End Family Fire initially focused on preventing unintentional shootings. In late 2020, Brady expanded the End Family Fire campaign to focus on another type of gun violence that is often not talked about: gun suicide. In the U.S., we lose 63 people a day to gun suicide—more than those who are lost to firearm murders and unintentional shootings combined. In fact, over half of all gun deaths in America (61%) are suicides.

The new phase of the EFF campaign highlights these realities, using both behavior-changing tactics and empathy-provoking methods, to motivate gun owners to store their guns locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition, thereby giving their loved ones a second chance at life. Our September launch was the product of years of research and message testing, and we could not be more proud of the resulting unique and life-saving campaign.

Brady Legal

Brady Legal has secured landmark precedents that hold gun companies and dealers accountable for the deaths and injuries they enable. To date, the program has won over $60 million in settlements and verdicts for gun violence victims and successfully pushed many gun dealers and manufacturers to adopt more responsible, safer business practices. They have argued and won cases before numerous state supreme courts, trial courts, and federal appeals courts, and litigated in over 40 states.

Recent Legal Win

Galliher v. Cabelas: Family of slain Ohio man settles lawsuit with Cabela’s for selling a gun to prohibited purchaser Brady, on behalf of the family of Bryan Galliher, a 21-year-old man murdered in 2016, has settled a lawsuit against outdoor retailer Cabela’s and its parent company, Bass Pro Group LLC, for selling the gun used to kill him. Brady alleged that the retailer violated Ohio law by selling a black powder gun—a replica of an antique Army revolver—to an Orrville man prohibited from possessing firearms due to a felony conviction of violence. As a result of the settlement, Cabela’s has instituted sweeping reforms to its marketing and sales practices to keep black powder guns out of the hands of individuals with a violent history and others prohibited by law from possessing a gun.

If you’d like to learn more or get involved with Brady’s incredible, life-saving work, please visit Brady’s website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

People’s Action: The time has come for an organizing revival

The time has come for an organizing revival. Where we celebrate the evolution of the craft, and reground in organizing fundamentals that transcend form and context.

We have shifted an organizing field that was largely designed to win the best thing possible in the existing political and ideological landscape, to one dead-set on changing that landscape. Contesting to win the battle of ideas — advancing ours about race, class, gender, immigration, markets, and the role of government; a seismic shift toward contesting for governing power; using technology to be in relationship with more people; and a shift in who is leading our organizations and movements. You’d be hard pressed to find a decade where the organizing field has changed in such powerful ways.

If, in the pace of it all, something got lost, it was a culture that supported organizing fundamentals like starting where people are and the art of deep leadership development. Fundamentals that cut across organizing lineage for a reason — they work. Absent a revival, I believe they may be endangered.

To deliver on the promise of this moment, and to beat back the threats, what got us here will not get us there. Not alone. The social movements of the last decade have powered large-scale change, especially at a cultural level, that would have seemed dreamy ten years ago. Now we’ve gotta turn that awakening into sustained power to win tangible change in people’s lives.

That will require reaching into the cracks, organizing people untouched by our organizations and movements. People we will not reach with a better message or targeted facebook ad, but only through coming to them, asking about their greatest hopes, most pressing pain, and how they are making meaning of it all.

Forty million Americans live in poverty. We are in relationship with a small percentage. As many or more are defined as working class, many of whom are downwardly mobile. Most don’t even know we exist.

We need an organizing revival that helps us get to the next wave of people, and from there, the next. That is going to require lots of very good organizers.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 21: Asia Betancourt with VOCAL-NY speaks during a People’s Action rally against Big Pharma on September 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for People’s Action)

There are many fundamentals we need to revive. Here are just a few that feel essential.

Start Where People Are At. It sounds so simple, but this is the first organizing super-power. We humans do not easily start where people are at. We tend to start where we are at — what we need, what we believe, what we want. Something profound opens up if we start where the other person is, truly work to be in their shoes, to understand their experience.

Our biggest campaign should not be one of mobilizing, but one of listening. This is how we build. We’ve been mobilizing non-stop for ten years. Now, let’s go and listen to millions of people.

How we do it matters — we should listen to learn, not to confirm. Be curious. Seek to understand. All people need to be seen and heard. Let’s go meet that human need, and from there great organizing can happen.

Agitate People to Greatness. We live in a constant haze that blinds us from truths about society and ourselves. Even when we do see through it, sensing that little can be done, we get comfortable being uncomfortable. This is no accident, but of design.

We are taught through experience that we are not powerful, that change is not possible, that we need to stay in our place. Breaking through this repressive worldview requires that people be stirred up.

Agitation, done right, is an act of love. We move people toward a more accurate and powerful sense of self and possibility. Done wrong, agitation is aggressive and sloppy. As an act of love, it can alter someone’s path in immeasurable ways, and unleash new power into the world. It is one of the most essential ways we develop leaders.

Winning Matters. We are clearer than ever on our north star demands. We need to be equally clear on the structural stepping stones that build toward those larger transformations. Organizing works because we create evidence that coming together and putting in the time is worth it.

We joke about when organizers used to work on stop-sign issues, and yet there is a reason we did. It provided evidence that coming together was worth the time. We don’t need to go back to stop-signs but we do need to develop a field that is clear on the structural stepping stones toward our north stars, and has a theory on how to deliver. A “political revolution or bust” stance may work for people of means and a diehard few, but it is not sustainable for most people. We have to be winning. To relieve people’s pain, to grow confidence in organizing.

There are other fundamentals: don’t do for others what they can do for themselves; it’s not where people start, but where they end up; all organizing is re-organizing; and many more. All worthy of remembering and reviving.

We can revive the fundamentals through training, culture, stories and our history.

Training. Organizing, really good organizing, is complicated. For a tiny handful this craft is intuitive on all fronts. For most, there are parts that come easy, and parts that come hard. Let’s train in how to organize the unorganized and truly develop leaders. To run great meetings, strategic actions, develop winning campaigns, to be curious about power. Training that helps us understand what is blocking our own growth, so we can help others realize theirs.

Culture. Training will only take us so far if that training is at odds with the culture of our organizations. Good organizing should be the air we breathe. If the culture of organizing is strong in our organizations, so will be the craft. If the culture rewards starting where people are at, truly developing other people, and building organizations that belong to members, people will do good organizing because they landed in the right context.

If the culture of our organizations celebrates the gamesmanship of the non-profit sector, we will grow people good at playing that game. If our culture rewards organizing the already converted, we’ll get more of that. The choice of what culture we set moving forward is ours.

Clear the Decks. There is too much on the plate of today’s organizer that is not organizing. When I was on the street, the job was organizing and a few other things would compete for that time. Today, I sense it can be the opposite, with people fighting to make time for organizing. Let’s take a clear-eyed look at our calendars and ask — how is this shit helping us organize and reach more people? Is this really building power for our members? If not, cut it loose.

Storytelling. The fundamentals come alive through stories. Stories of risky actions, leaders developing, winning campaigns. Let’s reignite a culture of storytelling — sharing the story from last night’s meeting, or of a campaign forty years ago. Organizers, the really good ones, are storytellers — inspiring us with stories from the past, and ones that spark our imagination about what comes next.

Honor our history. There’s no better source of stories than the folks who did this before us. Let’s bring our elders back into the fold. There is valuable, hard-earned wisdom on the sidelines. People who chartered these waters, suffered wounds so we would not have to, people who put language to the fundamentals. Let’s soak up that wisdom, and celebrate those who built the foundation we walk on.

There’s a sense among organizers that something is not right. That the craft is not right. It’s a strange thing to feel when we’ve made so much progress. Yet it becomes clearer by the day that what got us to this point, will not get us to the next one. That we have to organize another circle out, and after that another. This requires organizing that builds on recent evolutions in our craft, and swings back to pick up some things lost along the way. I feel confident we can do both.

With funding from CREDO members, Trust for Public Land is connecting everyone to the outdoors

Access to nature is a fundamental human right. Yet, 1 in 3 Americans don’t have a park close to home—including 28 million kids. Trust for Public Land is changing that by collaborating with communities to create parks, playgrounds, trails, and protect natural spaces.

In June 2021, CREDO members voted to distribute $49,095 to Trust for Public Land to help the organization continue leading a movement to put a park within a 10-minute walk of every American. With CREDO support, Trust for Public Land is partnering with historically marginalized communities to protect and develop new outdoor spaces so that all people have access to the health benefits and climate solutions that nature provides.Thanks in part to funding by CREDO members, over the past six months, the Trust for Public Land has opened many new community parks and protected vital public lands. Some examples include:

Cook Park in Atlanta, GA: The Trust for Public Landworked with the community to transform 16 acres of flood prone land into a vibrant new city park, engineered to alleviate the risk of future catastrophic flooding and provide multiple benefits to the neighborhood. Cook Park features a playground, splashpad, climbing boulders, outdoor fitness equipment, multi-use sports courts, public performance space, and a variety of places for visitors to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park in Dallas, TX: Hand-in-hand with the neighbors of South Oak Cliff, Trust for Public Landcreated a 1.8 acre park with all-weather fitness equipment, a rock climbing boulder wall, an outdoor classroom, and barbecue and gathering spaces. This is the first park in the new Five Mile Creek Greenbelt, which will become a network of parks and dozens of miles of trails in Dallas.

5+ Community Schoolyards in NYC and beyond: Transforming barren lots at schools into vibrant green spaces open to the entire community, with playgrounds, athletic fields, outdoor classrooms, gardens, and relaxation areas.

Meadowood, Connecticut: Protecting a historically significant 285-acre property, a former tobacco farm where Martin Luther King, Jr. worked during two summers as a teenager.

Cross F Ranch, Arizona: In conserving a total of 3,154 acres, Trust for Public Landprotected the Cross F Ranch, a spectacular 22,000-acre ranch that connects the Galiuro Mountains and Aravaipa Canyon on its west side with the Santa Teresa Mountains and Forest Service Wilderness to the east. The project has created guaranteed permanent public access to 40,000 acres of existing public lands and protected a substantial portion of the watershed for nearby Aravaipa Creek.

If you’d like to learn more or get involved with Trust for Public Land, please visit their website, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Mobilizing a Generation of Young People to Solve the Climate Crisis

The climate emergency is here. The world as we know it is running out of time and the window for small, incremental action has closed. Instead, we need urgent pro-climate policy that meets the scale of the challenge—and leaders with the courage and mandate to take bold action. Our critical window of opportunity to sound the alarm is ever-narrowing and the time to act is NOW.ACE was founded in 2008 with the visionary (and at the time fringe) belief that to halt a global crisis, the climate movement needed the engagement of young people. Back then, we were told again and again that young people were not a priority because they couldn’t or wouldn’t vote, and couldn’t be organized. How times have changed. With the failure of our leaders to act and an explosion of youth activism and visibility within the movement, our outlying belief in the power of youth is now common knowledge—and to many, our best source of hope.

ACE reaches tens of millions of young people with our programs each year, training a new generation of leaders, amplifying youth voices to shift the narrative, and increasing diverse youth participation in our democracy.

With support from CREDO members, like you, we will be able to sound the alarm on the climate emergency at a new level of scale and impact, and to exponentially increase the most effective and targeted aspects of our work to tip the scales toward climate justice. Visit CREDO’s Donations page to vote for ACE today.

ACE has a critical role to play in growing the power of the movement by amplifying the voices and values of young people. When young people call for climate justice, they do so with the moral authority of a generation that will have to live with the choices our leaders make today. Youth voices are not the only ones needed in the global climate movement, but without the power of youth, we simply cannot win.Consider voting to support ACE’s work to educate, inspire and support young people to lead the fight for their future. To learn more about ACE, please visit: acespace.org.

The Ongoing Battle to Get Politicians Out of My Exam Room

This article was written by Kimberly Mohabir on September 16, 2021. Find original posting on: https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/blog/the-ongoing-battle-to-get-politicians-out-of-my-exam-room

“I am disgusted by the deliberate interference that many state governments are imposing between doctors and their patients,” a doctor writes in this first-person account.

I am a board-certified family medicine physician who has been working with Planned Parenthood Federation of America as part of a fellowship focused on sexual and reproductive health policy. Patients come to me with certain expectations — importantly truth, empathy, and help.

“The relationship between a patient and a physicians based on trust, which gives rise to physicians’ ethical responsibility to place patients’ welfare above the physician’s own self-interest,”1 according to the American Medical Association (AMA),

Trust is under greater strain than ever as states continue to pass the harshest abortion bans and restrictions since Roe v. Wade. Health care conversations are no longer one-on-one between a patient and a trusted provider. The government has become an intrusive third party interfering in the relationship — intentionally eroding patient trust and our responsibility as providers to inform and deliver the highest standard of care.

I am unnerved by the relentless efforts of state lawmakers to pass harmful legislation to control our patients’ reproductive health decisions. Once and for all, it is incumbent upon providers, policymakers and advocates to affirm every individual’s right to full reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy and fight vigorously against any and all attempts by the government to restrict the ability of our patients to decide when and if they are ready to grow their families.

Abortion is a human right.  It’s time our government upholds, protects and defends that right — and our ability as providers to honor our oaths to truth, empathy and help.

Truth

It takes four years of undergraduate school, followed by four years of medical school and up to seven years of residency to become a medical doctor. This education is necessary to ensure patients get the most accurate and effective medical care from a provider they can trust. . While abortion is among one of the safest medical procedures, in some states some providers are forced to counsel patients on disproven falsehoods, such as risks of breast cancer and mental illness, fetal pain, and infertility. Telling patients the truth in all circumstances, even when it contradicts with one’s own personal beliefs, is essential and foundational to building and maintaining trust in relationships with patients. No patient should ever have to piece together which information is correct, and no doctor should be forced to violate oaths and knowingly misguide patients with dishonest information.

Empathy

Patients come from all walks of life and from various backgrounds: 75% of patients in need of abortion have low incomes; many are already parents and worry that another child could threaten their family’s financial security. Some are survivors of sexual assault, and seek an abortion for a pregnancy that would force them to re-live an event they are working to overcome. Others seek an abortion simply because they have decided it’s just not the right time for them to grow their families. All of these reasons are valid, and no one has the right to intrude on this deeply personal decision. When someone considering abortion comes to me, my job is to listen without judgment and deliver care. Forcing providers to communicate to our patients that they will have to continue with their pregnancies or take unnecessary steps to get an abortion based on a politician’s moral beliefs is deeply unethical and violates the pledge to practice empathy for all patients regardless of circumstance. Further, the Turnaway Study — a research project that examined the short and longterm physical and emotional impact of individuals being denied access to abortion care — found that being denied an abortion can have a significant health toll on the individual and their families. Indeed, individuals denied access to abortion and forced to continue with their pregnancies are more likely to experience depression, severe pregnancy complications, and are more likely to stay with abusive partners. Studies show children are also affected by their parent’s inability to access an abortion, and are more likely to live in financially insecure households and have delayed childhood development. Practicing empathy as a provider, put simply, means doing no harm. When providers are forced to harm patients by denying them abortions, it can affect mothers, families, and the communities we serve.

Help

When I am asked why I went into medicine, my reflex response is “I wanted to help people.” But there’s more to it. I believe patients are more than their diagnoses. The goal of a physician is to help the patient get to their individual medical goals.

Let’s look at a real-life example. A young woman wants to know what is causing her painful and heavy periods. After careful and thorough examination and tests, I discover she has uterine fibroids. I discuss with her that there are medications to help with her symptoms, but she is not interested in starting these medications; her goal was simply to find out what was happening in her body and we have accomplished that.

Coercing patients into a treatment option they are not interested in pursuing is not only unhelpful; it’s unethical. Aside from severe extenuating circumstances, patients have the right to opt in or opt out of medical care. This same patient ultimately decided to have her fibroids surgically removed. Accordingly, I referred her to a surgical gynecologist who was licensed and skilled to remove her fibroids.

It is our duty as providers to center the patients’ health care needs and decisions and communicate all of their treatment options with medically accurate information. We are not to coerce and deter patients from seeking the care they decide best meets their needs — but many of us are being forced to do exactly that by lawmakers who oppose abortion.


As I go through residency at George Washington University, I remember the oath I made when I first decided to go to medical school. An oath to do no harm, to give only true and accurate information, to center the patient, and always have empathy. In medical school, we are taught that the doctor-patient relationship is a sacred bond and that above all else, must be protected in medicine.

In order to protect trust in the medical system, irrational restrictions that have no basis in evidence must be fought. Doctors must not be forced by anti-reproductive health legislators to manipulate patients. I am disgusted by the deliberate interference that many state governments are imposing between doctors and their patients. The only people that can decide the best course of medical action are the patient and the medical provider. To fight this interference and protect the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship, I urge you to contact your member of Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would protect, defend, and expand abortion rights for all people regardless of the state they live in — and protect the rights of providers to give the most accurate information to patients and deliver only the highest standards of care. It’s time the government gets out of our exam rooms once and for all.

How to keep your phone running in tip-top shape

Getting the most out of your smartphone is important, whether you’re playing a fun new game, utilizing those blazing fast speeds, uploading a video to social media or storing all your precious photos.

But to enjoy all that your phone has to offer, you should make sure it’s running in tip-top shape so that your device is always performing at its best — and you may be able to even extend the life of your device.

In this week’s tip, we’ll show you a few ways to protect your investment and ensure your smartphone stays clean, damage free and continues running smoothly.

Update apps and turn on automatic updates

Updating your apps and operating system is a must to make sure your phone is performing at its best. These updates fix bugs, introduce new features, help prevent malware and ensure your phone’s software and applications continue to run as smoothly as possible.

Automatic updates should be turned on by default for both Apple and Android phones, but it’s a good idea to double check in case your phone has been inadvertently going for months without any updates. 

Turn on automatic updates for your apps

  • On iOS, go to Settings > App Store and make sure that App Updates is turned on. 
  • On Android, go to the Play Store and tap the profile icon. Tap Settings > Network Preferences > Auto-update apps, then choose how you want to update your apps.

Turn on automatic system updates

  • On iOS, go to Settings > General > Software Update. If an update is available, you will be able to install it. You can also change the settings for Automatic Updates at the top of the screen.
  • On Android, go to Settings > Software Update/System Update and turn on the setting for Auto Updates.

Note: Instructions for Android devices may differ by manufacturer and model

Your phone is probably dirty. Clean it today.

Face it, if you’re anything like us, your phone is probably filthy. That’s okay — but it does mean you do need to give it a good cleaning to ensure the ports, screen and camera glass are clear of dirt and fingerprints and to prevent nasty germs from multiplying all over your device.

We recommend that you do NOT submerge your phone in any kind of cleaner, but DO use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol with a microfiber cloth or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to clean your phone. If you notice that your ports are dirty, a toothpick to scrape out the gunk should do the trick.

For more tips on keeping your phone clean, check out our tip “How to disinfect your phone and other household items.

Prevent your phone from overheating

A hot phone can drain your battery quickly or annoyingly shut itself down, but it can also reduce your phone’s performance and battery life, melt internal components, or very rarely, cause a fire or explosion. 

Make sure to keep your phone away from direct sunlight or a hot car, and use recommended chargers, since unapproved third-party chargers could damage your device. 

Learn more about keeping your phone cool by reading last summer’s tip “6 tips to stop your phone from overheating this summer.

Invest in a good case

One of the best investments you can make to protect your phone from accidental damage is protecting it with a sturdy smartphone case. We get it: Protective cases can sometimes get cumbersome or feel too big. But the alternative might be a cracked screen and a costly repair. Even slim cases do offer some protection from dings and scratches, so consider dressing up that naked phone with a new case. 

Wirecutter recently reviewed a number of cases for iPhones, and Lifewire has case suggestions for the various Android models.

One more tip: You should also consider purchasing a protection plan through CREDO, your manufacturer or AppleCare (if you have an iPhone or iPad). Learn more about our insurance and service plans here.

Slow phone? Clean up some space

Is your smartphone not running as quickly as it used to? Is it acting slowly when you open new browser tabs or switch from app to app?

We know how frustrating it can be — but don’t worry! The fix could be something as easy as cleaning up some space, clearing out your cache or deleting unused apps. Following these steps can clear up space and prevent some apps from running in the background — and help your phone run a little more quickly.

To clear cache on Apple’s Safari:

  1. Go to Settings > Safari
  2. Tap Clear History and Website Data, then confirm.

To clear cache on Chrome on Android:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app.
  2. At the top right, tap three dots for More.
  3. Go to History > Clear browsing data.
  4. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
  5. Next to “Cookies and site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes.
  6. Tap Clear data.

Deleting apps on your device is even easier. On Apple devices, long-press each individual app that you don’t use until you see a drop-down menu, then choose “Remove App.” On many Android devices, you can also long press the apps you want to remove, then choose “Uninstall”

To learn how to clear app cache and temporary files for other mobile browsers along with other ways to speed up your device, visit our previous post “How to instantly speed up a sluggish smartphone.”

Consider upgrading your phone

It’s been a few years. Your phone has had a good life, but it’s just not performing like it used to. We all reach that point, too. It’s simply time for a new phone. 

You’re in luck! We are offering some amazing deals on the latest smartphones — and your phone bill will help empower climate justice, civil rights and economic justice, at no extra cost. Visit CREDOMobile.com and find the phone that’s right for you!

 

How Planned Parenthood is working to protect reproductive freedom

Planned Parenthood was founded over 100 years ago on the revolutionary idea that women have the right to access the information and care they need to live healthy lives.

That’s why, for more than 35 years, CREDO has been honored to fund Planned Parenthood, its Action Fund and affiliates as they fight to protect that right — totalling $3.6 million.

Right now, Planned Parenthood Action Fund is working hard to protect abortion access from the unconstitutional attacks on reproductive freedom happening across the country and support efforts to establish a statutory right to abortion. Please take a moment to read more about how Planned Parenthood is working to protect care for millions of people and how you can take action — then vote to fund the organization this month.

Attacks on access to safe, legal abortion are escalating across the country. The six-week ban in Texas is only the latest in a long line of dangerous, unjust, and medically unnecessary bans and restrictions on abortion access. By allowing this unconstitutional law to go into effect, a majority of the Supreme Court has turned its back on 50 years of precedent, rendering Roe v. Wade effectively meaningless in Texas.

That’s why Planned Parenthood Action Fund is advocating for the passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act, critical legislation that would help protect the right to abortion throughout the United States and guard against the bans and restrictions state politicians are pushing. 

The U.S. House passed the legislation last September, but the bill remains stalled in the U.S. Senate. We urge you to join our allies at Planned Parenthood Action Fund to contact your senators to support this important legislation to protect access to safe, legal abortion across this country. Click here to send a letter to your senators.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund is also one of three great organizations on our donations ballot this month — and you can vote today to help us distribute our January donation. Visit CREDODonations.com and cast your vote for PPAF, Action for the Climate Emergency and People’s Action today! 

 

Vote for Action for the Climate Emergency, People’s Action and Planned Parenthood Action Fund this January

Every month, CREDO members vote to distribute $150,000 to three incredible progressive causes – and every vote makes a difference. This January, you can support climate justice, economic justice and reproductive rights by voting to fund Action for the Climate Emergency, People’s Action and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Action for the Climate Emergency

Each year, ACE educates millions of teens about the climate emergency through original media, supports its 750,000 youth members to participate fully in our democracy, and trains hundreds of youth climate organizers to end the era of fossil fuels.

Generous funding from CREDO members will support ACE to educate millions of teens about the climate emergency, support its 750,000 youth members with everything they need to cast their first ballot, and to train a new generation of climate leaders.

People’s Action

People’s Action is a grassroots-powered force for democracy and economic fairness. The organization uses issue campaigns and voting to put community over corporations, justice over racism, and people and planet over profits and polluters.

A grant from CREDO would help build power to move economic, climate, gender and racial justice policies; develop the leadership of thousands of grassroots leaders; and fight against white nationalist disinformation that threatens our democracy.

  Planned Parenthood Action Fund 

Planned Parenthood was founded over 100 years ago on the revolutionary idea that women have the right to access the information and care they need to live healthy lives. Today, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund fights to protect that right.

At this crisis point for abortion access, funding from CREDO members will help the Planned Parenthood Action Fund fight for reproductive health care and rights for all.

Your vote this month will determine how we divide $150,000 in donations among these three progressive groups. Be sure to cast your vote to support one, two or all three by January 31.

CREDO members who use our products and services everyday are the reason we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile and join our movement.

New phone? Here’s how to transfer all your data from your old smartphone to your new one

Did you get a brand new phone for the holidays — or have plans to buy one soon — but you’re not sure how to transfer all your photos, email, apps and other important data over to the new device?

You’re in luck — this week’s tip is just for you!

Whether you’re transferring your data from an old Android phone to a new device, an old iPhone or iPad to a brand new one, or even between iOS and Android, we’ll run through how to move your data and settings to a new device in just a few simple steps.

Moving data from an old iOS device to a new iPhone or iPad

Apple has made moving your data from one phone to another incredibly easy with a system called “Quick Start.” Here’s how to automatically move your important data to your new device.

Before you start:

  1. Have your Apple ID and password ready.
  2. If you have an Apple Watch, unpair it from your old phone.
  3. Make sure you have a backup of your old device before beginning. Here’s how to back up your phone.

Transfer your data (courtesy of Apple)

  1. Choose a time when you will not need to use both your old and new devices. The process may take a little while.
  2. Plug in both devices; ensure your old phone is turned on. Place both devices near each other, and turn on your new device.
  3. A screen appears on your current device that offers the option of using your Apple ID to set up your new device. Make sure that it’s the Apple ID that you want to use, then tap Continue. If you don’t see the option to continue on your current device, make sure that Bluetooth is turned on.
  4. Wait for an animation to appear on your new device. Hold your current device over the new device, then center the animation in the viewfinder.
  5. Wait for a message that says Finish on New [Device]. If you can’t use your current device’s camera, tap Authenticate Manually, then follow the onscreen steps.
  6. When asked, enter your current device’s passcode on your new device. Then follow the instructions to set up Face ID or Touch ID on your new device.
  7. When you see the Transfer Data from [Device] screen, tap Continue to begin transferring your data from your previous device to your new device. Or you can tap Other Options to transfer apps, data, and settings from your most recent iCloud backup or transfer from a backup on your computer.

Quick note: This method is only available if your devices are running iOS 11 or later (Here’s how to check). 

If you are unable or do not want to use Quick Start to move your data, you can also check out how to use iCloud or iTunes or Finder from Apple’s website

Moving data from your old Android device to a new one

Transferring your data from an old Android to a new one is just as easy. You will still need to backup your old phone, but the process to transfer your data is quite simple.

Before you begin:

  1. Charge both phones
  2. Double-check that you are able to unlock the old device
  3. On your old phone, go to Settings and sign in with your Google account. 
  4. Backup your data: Go to Settings > System > Backup, then choose Backup Now > Continue. (Note that these instructions may be different depending on your device’s manufacturer)

Transfer your data (courtesy of Google)

  1. Turn on your new phone.
  2. Tap Start. If you don’t see “Start,” you can copy your data manually.
  3. When asked, choose to copy apps and data from your old phone.
  4. If you have a cable to connect your phones, follow the on-screen instructions to copy your data.
  5. If you don’t have a cable:
    1. Tap No cable? > Ok.
    2. Tap A backup from an Android phone.
    3. To copy your data, follow the on-screen instructions.

If you are having trouble, you can copy your data manually from one phone to the other. Here’s how.

How to transfer your data from iOS to Android — or Android to iOS

Some new and existing CREDO members sometimes make the switch from Android to a new iPhone, or vice-versa. While transferring data to a new operating system isn’t difficult, it does involve a few extra steps.

That’s why we have a separate blog post to walk you through this painless migration. Check out our previous post “How to migrate your phone’s data from Android to Apple iOS — and back.”