Going to the toilet with a smartphone or tablet has become a common habit nowadays, but according to scientists, it is very dangerous. This exposes you to the risk of infection by bacteria such as E. Coli or salmonella, which can do a lot of damage to your system. How, you ask? Dr. Lisa Ackerley has the answer. “If you wipe your bum then pick up your phone, you may as well not bother washing your hands because all the bacteria you put on your phone will end up back on your hands,” she says.

So, what should we do? Well, according to Dr. Ron Cutler, not taking your phone in the bathroom is the right step. “Basically, you just shouldn’t (take your phone into the toilet) if you are at all concerned about the transfer of viruses and fecal contamination.” He also says that the levels of contamination depend on the location of the toilet – the office might not be a problem, but a public toilet significantly increases the risk of infection. Viruses can be transferred by anything, not just by hands or air. A single spray from the toilet can travel six feet from the flush and end on your toothbrush, which is why it should be in a closed cupboard.

Germs can even survive on your phone for days! “Phones heat up a little bit giving bacteria a nice warm environment. If people handle sweets and leave a sticky coating on the phone, that’s an even better place for bacteria,” Dr. Cutler says. This is why it’s very important to wash your hands well with soap and water any time you’re using the bathroom.