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How to Back Up Your Smartphones

Do you live in fear that you phone will take a tumble, and you'll suddenly lose all your photos and music? Tech Talker shows you how to protect your smartphone data.

By
Eric Escobar,
January 21, 2016
Episode #205

Page 1 of 2

The beginning of 2016 was a bittersweet one for my family. I’ve mentioned it before, but my birthday, which I celebrated last week, is shared with two of my aunts and a cousin. It can be a little lackluster when you have to sing, Happy birthday dear, Eric, Lydia, Rachel, and Caroline (I promise that I’m not bitter at all!).

During the festivities, there was a selfie mishap and my cousin’s phone landed in a cup of soda. Needless to say, the phone didn’t appreciate the swim and drowned pretty swiftly.

Now in one of my very first episodes I covered how to save your electronics when they get wet. Unfortunately, soda is a great conductor of electricity and before you could say the word ‘Snapchat,' the phone had shorted out.

The Aftermath

It’s always a little gut-wrenching for me to see a phone dunked before its time. Even more so is when it’s a teenage cousin of mine who has all but been cut off from her world now. Then it starts to set in when she realizes all of the things that are on her phone: homework, text messages, pictures, apps. But it’s all just as safe as your last back up.

Luckily, anything on your phone that is stored in the cloud is almost always safe from these mini-catastrophes. All social media apps, such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, store all of your information in the cloud. This means all you need to restore those apps are your username and password, and all of your pictures that you posted, comments that you made, and everything you’ve shared is safe.

The same goes for note-taking apps like Evernote and office apps like Google Docs and Google Sheets. All of the notes are synced to your cloud account, so the only thing that is at risk is a note that is created and not yet synced to the cloud. This is some pretty heavy redundancy, which is awesome and took a lot of coding work to be as seamless as it is.

The most vulnerable thing on your phone is probably what’s most important to you, and that’s your text messages, contacts, photos, and videos. These items are generally the most missed when a phone goes missing or takes a dunk, and without a previous backup, they are next to impossible to recover. Phones are locked down, so there’s not really any fancy way to recover your pictures or videos. What I mean by this is that if your computer were to get broken there are some tools that might help you recover your files. On a phone this is not the case.

iPhone Prevention

Now how could this have been prevented? It's easy: just back up your device. The best kind of back up is the one that you don’t have to worry about or really even think about. If it’s a backup that you have to do manually, it most likely will be forgotten and then never done, or at least done sparingly.

You can back up your iPhone or iPad to a computer with iTunes installed by simply plugging in your phone and having iTunes take care of it for you. This will story a copy of your phone on your computer. This makes restoring extremely easy and fast. However, this means that you have to manually back up your phone every single time. This can be a huge pain and, like I mentioned before, will often get forgotten.

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