Make sure your data is never lost with some of our helpful hints.

By now, most of us know how important it is to back up our laptops or desktop computers, and may have either a cloud-based option or an external hard drive for this purpose.

However, when it comes to backing up our mobile phones, we tend to be a bit more cavalier. It's easy to see why, as we probably have more documents, presentations etc. on our desktop or laptop. But the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of us carry a huge amount of contact information on our phones, and if you’ve ever lost your phone, you know how much of a hassle it can be to rebuild your phone book (assuming you haven’t backed it up).

You also stand to lose text messages – which might have a practical or a sentimental value to you. Or perhaps a photo that means a lot to you. So before your phone is lost, damaged or stolen, why not make a point of backing up your precious content? It's a lot simpler than you think in the vast majority of cases.

For iPhone users

If you've got an iPhone, iTunes updates your iPhone's backup every time you sync it. But you need to go into your iTunes settings to make sure you know what's being updated. Have you ticked the box to update just your music or just your photos, for example, or does iTunes sync everything? You need to check this out if you're to be fully confident that you’ve got a backup plan in place that can capture bookmark settings, call history, mail accounts and the whole nine yards.

Backups are performed automatically, and restoring your phone to a backup state is very easy. Simply plug in your iPhone, alt-click on its icon in iTunes, and select ‘Restore from Backup’.

For Android users

Your contacts can be added to your Google account – simply designate them to be saved as Google contacts, not just SIM or phone contacts.

Here’s how you do this:
  1. Open your ‘Contacts’ list
  2. Press the menu button
  3. Select ‘Import’
  4. Tick the ‘Google Contacts’ box
If, however, you wish to back up more than your Google-service-based info, you’ll need a third party solution – which can be either free or paid for after a short trial. You can find a large selection of these in the Google Play store.

Practical cloud-based solutions

Regardless of your platform, cloud-based solutions such as Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive are cost-effective and relatively easy ways of keeping all of your data safe – across all devices.

You simply open your preferred cloud service on each device (from your laptop or desktop to your phone or tablet) and everything is both protected and synced as a matter of course.

This is a very attractive option for people who work on the move, as even if your phone is stolen, for example, you can access your data on any of your other devices – giving you a huge degree of peace of mind.

Typically, you can avail of a free version of these services up to a stipulated level of storage, and after that, you need to pay a monthly or yearly subscription.