Girlfriend Returns home, Phone-less! How to Protect your Device and its Data

forgotten cell phone on park bench

A few months back I received a frantic call from my girlfriend saying she thought she may have lost her phone. Sure enough, she returned home an hour later, phone-less and with tears streaming down her face. Have you ever lost or thought you lost your smartphone? There is no way to describe the feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, right? In recent times we have grown to appreciate the All-In-One value of our smartphones, but what we tend to forget that is if we are to lose one, the effects can be that much greater. Fortunately, there are a few precautions we can take to ensure that if this happens, it will have less of an impact on our lives.

The first is to make sure you use some sort of backup program. Depending on your type of device, you can either backup via USB cable directly to your PC, or possibly even wirelessly. This method is free, and is pretty fool-proof as long as your also backing up your PC regularly. If you have an Apple product of any kind you can easily back up the most important data by connecting it to iTunes and right clicking on the name of the device and selecting “backup”. Its important to note that this method only makes a backup of Contacts, Pictures and certain settings. If you would like to backup Music, Apps Etc then make sure to compete a sync. Alternatively, most new smartphones have an automatic backup feature. On Android, your most valuable data is automatically backed up nightly, however you will need to initially set this up in your device settings. On any Apple product, simply set up iCloud in the initial setup and automatic backups will start nightly. Apple gives you your first 5 MB for free. As a final alternative most carriers offer a backup assistant service as well and these types of carrier features do usually carry a monthly charge.

Now, lets say you’ve already experienced a phone loss. There are a few things you can do to attempt to recover your device. Each type of OS offers some sort of lost phone tracking service. The most widely used is Apple”s find my iPhone. This service enables the user to track the whereabouts of the device and even completely wipe the contents of the device remotely. For Android, Blackberry, and Windows devices you make need to download a third party application to have this functionality. And if your main concern is privacy, add a passlock to you device the minute you set it up. Once enabled, the only way to pass it is to completely wipe the device which erases all your personal data and settings.

Perhaps the most irritating thing about losing your phone is knowing that the person who found it may not have taken the chance to return it but instead either used it or sold it. In the past, it would have been very easy to reuse a lost or stolen phone. However, today the carriers are forming alliances to permanently prevent a lost or stolen phone from being used again. They are forming lists which track the phones serial number and block them from reactivation.

If your issue isn”t total loss but rather data loss due to a broken, water or otherwise damaged phone, we can help. We offer data retrieval services. Pricing and availability vary so see stores for details.

In the end, losing a phone will never be a pleasant experience, but taking a few precautions could reduce the impact you will experience from it.

For more information regarding this or any of our posts, please call, visit a store or see our website.

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