Don’t fall between the cracks! One in three Americans has at least one crack in their phone screen. Just one crack can destroy your device, making it impossible to use.

The best way to fix a cracked screen is to not have one in the first place. Yet it’s not hard to prevent a cracked phone screen. The key is to answer a few questions about smartphone care.

How should you hold, store, and pick up your phone? Can weather damage your screen, and how do you protect your phone from the elements? What tools can you buy to keep your smartphone from getting damaged?

Get the facts and you can have a sparkling phone screen for years to come. Here is your quick guide.

Place Your Phone in a Secure Location

When you need to put your phone away, you should place it inside a drawer or bag. If you place it on a table, you may knock it off or put something on top of it, causing damage to your smartphone.

If you must place the phone down on a table, place it on its back. Putting it with the screen facing down can crack your screen, and the phone may start to slide off the table. Never push your phone toward someone else, even if your device is on its back, as the screen may get scraped.

When you need to pick your phone up, you should grab it using all five of your fingers. Look as you reach down so you grab your phone from the center. It can slip out of your hand if you grab it from an end or corner.

Look Where You’re Going

You may drop your phone if you trip over an object. Never walk while looking at your phone, as you will not be able to see in front of you. Carry your device in your pocket or personal bag so you will not let go of your phone if you lose your balance.

If you are talking on the phone and walking at the same time, hold your phone out to the side so you can look toward the ground. You can speak on speakerphone or hold the phone up to your ear.

Avoid the Weather

Your phone screen is made of glass and plastic, which can warp and crack in extreme heat. Place your phone in a cool and shady location away from sunlight.

Never put your smartphone in a microwave or oven, and never place it on a stove or another very hot surface. If you need to dry your phone off, you can use a towel. If your phone is too cold to hold in your hand comfortably, you can wear gloves.

Your bag can become very hot on humid and warm days. Open the bag slightly so you can allow cool air to circulate inside.

Cold weather can also make your screen rigid, making the screen more likely to shatter if it falls on the floor. Do not leave your phone outside while it is snowy or icy. Do not put your phone in the refrigerator or freezer, and move your phone away from iced drinks and frozen food.

Buy a Phone Screen Protector

The best tool to prevent a cracked screen is to buy a phone screen protector. A protector is a piece of glass or plastic that fits over your screen, protecting it from cracks. It can also protect your phone from scratches, water damage, and grease on your fingertips.

You should buy a product for your specific phone, as manufacturers make protectors for the exact dimensions of phones. Read the product descriptions for the protector you plan on buying and make sure it will cover your entire phone screen.

After you buy a protector, lay it on your phone immediately. If the protector does not fit perfectly, you should buy another product. Dust and debris can get underneath a folded or bent protector and crack your screen.

Your protector may wear down or break if you use your phone a lot. Talk to a smartphone care professional about what other tools you can get and how you should use a phone with a screen protector on it. Keep their contact information so you can get help for a broken smartphone.

Purchase a Phone Case

A phone case fits over the back of your phone, acting as a barrier if you drop your phone on the floor. It can dissipate the force of a fall, preventing your screen from cracking or popping off your phone.

You can pick a rubber, plastic, or glass case. You can also pick a case that matches the color of your phone or has your name on it, making your device easy to find and spot from a distance.

As with your protector, you want to find a case for your specific type of phone. Your case should be big enough that you can slip your phone into it without jamming it in. However, if your case is too big, your phone may slip out if you drop it.

Many manufacturers are making smartphones. You should look at various products like MagSafe cases and compare your options together.

Prevent a Cracked Screen

It’s hard to fix a cracked screen, but it’s easy to prevent one. Secure your phone in your pocket or bag. If you’re carrying your phone in your hand, keep an eye on where you’re going so you don’t trip.

Never bring your phone outside when it is very hot or cold. Buy a phone screen protector and a case with identical proportions to your phone so you protect all parts of your device from damage.

A cracked screen is just one problem your phone can have. Read more smartphone care guides by following our coverage.