Your phone has been for a swim. Your business contact information or vital sketches were on it and now it refuses to start.
Owners carry their business lives around on their mobile phones and tablets. If the phone was lost or broken it would be at the very least a huge nuisance. At worst important business data could be lost.
When it comes to backup, "just do it," says Ricky Allan, consumer sales manager at Telecom Hub Taranaki. "Backup is one of those things you don't need until it's too late," he says. Every single time you lift a cup of coffee your phone or tablet is in mortal danger.
Allan has seen more than one distressed business owner unable to access his or her contacts thanks to a broken or stolen phone. Had the phone been properly backed up, the settings, contacts, calendar and data could have been restored to a new or temporary phone virtually instantly.
Even if disaster hasn't befallen a business owner's phone, a backup can be used to transfer setting to a new smartphone with the least hassle, says Allan.
In order to protect themselves against the loss of their phone by accident or theft, business owners need to back up some or all of their:
It's most common to back up to the cloud. Other options that can be done instead of or as well as the cloud are backing up to:
What tools a business owner uses to do backups depends on the operating system and where he or she wants to back up to.
Backup is easiest for iPhone and iPad owners. They simply need to enable iCloud, which comes automatically installed on their phone.
To enable iCloud simply go into the Storage & Backup menu and follow on screen instructions.
The iPhone or iPad will then automatically back up its application settings, contacts, calendar and other data. Allan points out that the actual applications are not backed up. These will need to be downloaded again.
The fish-hook here is that iPhone users who are backed up to iCloud, can't restore their data to a non-Apple phone, says Steven Joynes of Cellulike. If they back up securely to a third party product such as Cellulike they restore the data to another brand of phone.
Android phone users can set their Gmail accounts to automatically sync their contacts, mail and calendar. The Android phone also has a backup function in Settings. Look for Personal, Backup and researt, and select both Backup my data and the Automatic restore options. You'll then be required to log into Google.
Business owners may also have other data that isn't backed up using this system. It's cheap to buy an app such as MyBackup Pro, which backs up all the apps online or to the SD card. This does, however, limit users to buying another Android phone.
There are other third-party backup tools that some users find useful. For example SMS Backup+ for Android allows users to back up all of their texts to a folder in Gmail. That can be very useful for a record of texts sent to staff, customers and others.
Other business people choose to backup automatically all photographs to Dropbox or other file sharing and storage sites. The advantage of this is that the photos are backed up as soon as they are taken. It also makes the photos available to other staff and accessible through a PC, iPad or other device that is synced with the same Dropbox account.
Whatever the method of backup, it's best if the process is automated. If backup isn't automatic it becomes another chore and chores don't always get done. Most apps have some sort of scheduling tool that allows users to choose the day and time when backups happen.
Finally, however, whatever method you choose to use, do it today. Tomorrow may be too late.
The Curse of the Smartphone
Tablet computers beneficial for all businesses
Virtual wallet logical step for smartphones