Many people around the UK will have experienced the sinking feeling of a text alert from their network provider to let them know they’ve used 80% of their monthly mobile data allowance.

And with many people hitting their data limit far too early in the month, there’s no harm in cluing yourself up to be a little more data savvy. Here's our top tips to help manage your monthly data allowance.

Turn off auto-play on social media

Videos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all feature auto-play functions, which means they will start streaming whether you want to watch them or not, costing you precious MB in data.

This is something that can be easily fixed by going into your social media account settings and switching off auto play. It’s also possible to make sure auto play is only switched on when you are connected to Wi-Fi.

Check your video quality

With many smartphones now offering full HD, it means there has never been a better time to watch your favourite shows or YouTube videos from your phone.

However, while easy on the eye, it’s a guaranteed data drainer, with HD videos using up to 3GB per hour, while ultra HD videos can use up to 7GB. Switching to standard definition will help save loads of data if you have to stream videos on 3 or 4G, using just 0.7GB per hour.

Download content to watch later

As Netflix is the biggest data drainer, it makes sense to download your favourite programmes before you leave the house so you can watch them on the go without eating into your data allowance.

The same also goes for Spotify and Apple music users, who should ensure their playlists are saved down to avoid using data when out and about.

Use WiFi as much as possible

This sounds like an obvious one, but it’s a great way of saving your data for when you really need it.

There are millions of hotspots across the UK which are free to connect to, and most trains and even buses now have free WiFi.

Turn off automatic background app refresh

Not only is this a big battery drainer, it also allows apps to use your data when you’re not even using them.

This is one for iPhone users only, but if you go into ‘Settings’ and ‘General’, you can turn app refresh off altogether, or select individual apps and start slashing your data usage.

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