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Data drain: how to protect yourself from overage charges

Long after you’ve finished a gaming, streaming or traveling app, they could still be running, slowly draining your data. (Louis Finley/KTVO)

There’s an app for everything, but if you don’t watch out, even the free ones can be costly.

“I’m illiterate when it comes to a lot of those things,” said U.S. Cellular customer Jeanie Bissell.

She’s not alone.

Long after you’ve finished a gaming, streaming or traveling app, they could still be running, slowly draining your data.

“It’s usually something they’re not expecting,” said Tech Specialist Tony Nelson.

“Be very wary of streaming apps,” Nelson said.

Apps like Netflix offer downloads, which you can do while using wi-fi at home.

Another large culprit, GPS.

“Maps on a trip, or something, is when I run over my time,” Bissell said.

Nelson said downloading map services at home is the way to go.

“Make sure to close it when you are finished so it’s not running in the background,” Nelson said.

You can do this by closing the app and going into the settings so you’re sure it’s not taking data in the background.

You can “go into the settings of your phone, see how much data you are using and see what apps are actually using that data,” Nelson said.

“I try to keep up, but sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge,” Nelson said.

Nelson also said you should have a conversation with your provider on how you plan on using your phone, so they can direct you toward the right plan.

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