From 5G conspiracy theories to radiation poisoning, OnBuy's mobile phone department conducted a survey to find out the mobile phone myths Brits believe the most.

OnBuy.com found the most popular thing Brits believe when it comes to mobile phone batteries is… Apps running in the background use up battery (87%.)

Key findings:

  • A third of Brits believe a mobile phone can reduce sperm count / fertility
  • 66% think a bag of rice will revive a wet phone
  • 18% of people believe the 5G conspiracy theories (e.g. it will be especially susceptible to cyber-attacks)
  • A quarter of people have been told you can charge an iPhone in 20 seconds using a microwave oven

This is more common sense than myth, but it’s worth noting modern smartphones are designed to optimise foreground “tasks” while others harmlessly float in the background.
Security Myths

In terms of mobile phone security, most Brits (75%) believe taking out the SIM card keeps you from being tracked – probably because they’ve seen it in the movies.

But, sans SIM card, your phone can still be tracked by authorities if power remains in the battery.
General Myths

A third (31%) of Brits believe a mobile phone can reduce sperm count / fertility if kept too close to the person (think trouser pocket!)

Let’s not panic. Every quality mobile phone brand provides products that have passed the SAR (Specific Absorption Rating) test. This ensures your mobile phone does not emit enough radiation to cause concern.

However, the general myth Brits believe most is: you can dry a wet phone in a bag of rice (66%.)
5G

Interestingly, when asked do you believe all of the 5G conspiracy theories? (e.g. it will be especially susceptible to cyber-attacks and surveillance), Brits responded:

  • Yes – 18%
  • Undecided – 20%
  • No – 63%

Urban Myths

Worryingly, Brits admit they have heard the following urban myths – but are yet to put them to the test!
You can cook an egg by placing it between two mobile phones – 6%

Never use a mobile when there’s a lightning storm – 19%

You can charge an iPhone in 20 seconds using a microwave oven – 25%

A full list of mobile phone myths included in OnBuy.com’s survey can be seen here:

Do you believe...

  • Apps running in the background use up battery 87%
  • A screen protector will stop your phone getting scratched 77%
  • Taking out your SIM card keeps you from being tracked 75%
  • More megapixels = better camera 66%
  • You can dry a wet phone in a bag of rice 66%
  • Phones interfere with hospitals and planes 43%
  • Overcharging a phone damages the battery 39%
  • Charging your phone overnight is bad for it 34%
  • You shouldn't keep your phone in the same pocket as a credit card 31%
  • Having a phone near your private parts can reduce sperm count / fertility 31%
  • Incognito mode protects your privacy 30%
  • Smartphones give off dangerous radiation 29%
  • Mobile phone use near a petrol pump can cause an explosion 26%
  • You shouldn't use your phone while it’s charging 24%
  • A bigger battery means longer battery life 21%
  • You should drain your battery completely before charging 18%
  • Free Wi-Fi is safe to use 5%

Methodology

To achieve the results OnBuy.com sent out a survey to 3,446 British people. 50% of respondents that took part are male, 45% are female and 5% identify as “other.”

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