Your iPhone is probably one of your most important and valuable possessions and not just because of the premium price tag. Your device is home to all of your sensitive data and treasured memories in the form of photos, videos and messages. Think about it, if you lose or irreparably damage your iPhone, you could just get a new one no matter how ‘wallet breaking’ it may be. However, imagine that you lost those photos you took at your best friend’s wedding, the last video you made with your grandparents before they passed on, hours of instant messaging conversations with the love of your life or that mission critical document you took a picture of for work. Losing precious data is truly a heartbreaking experience, but there’s a simple and easy way to insure against such a situation and it can be summed up in two words: Back Up!
Apple has made it incredibly easy to back up your important data using iCloud and this should be the first go to solution. iCloud is available to anyone with an Apple device, not just iPhones. Each Apple ID comes with 5GB of storage free and can store everything from bookmarks, contacts, calendars, iCloud documents, mail, messages, notes and your iCloud photo library. The best part is that iCloud backups can be set to happen automatically whenever your device is connected to Wi-Fi, which means that it’s quite a ‘set and forget’ approach to backing up your data. If you take lots of pictures and videos though, you’ll find yourself soon running out of space and needing to purchase more, yes you’ll have to spend for extra storage. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to note that expanding your storage is pretty affordable with expansion starting at USD 0.99 per month for 50GB.
While iCloud backups alone can often be sufficient to ensure that your data is backed up to the cloud and so available to you anywhere at any time, it’s very easy to have your backups corrupted as a result of device sync issues and incorrectly setting up sync features on your other devices. Another way your data in the cloud could be affected is by hackers. Therefore, it’s always best to couple iCloud backups with at least one other method.
The best method to couple iCloud Backups with is a local backup regimen to a laptop or PC. This way you can rest assured knowing that you have a copy of your information that you control, rather than leaving everything to the mystical nature of the Cloud. This can be easily accomplished using iTunes and connecting your device to your computer. iTunes lets you automatically or manually backup your device locally and even lets you encrypt your backups for added security, which means no one but you will have access to your personal data. With the exception of media purchased from the iTunes store, all other data including photos, videos, contacts, notes, call histories, profiles and bookmarks will all be backed up.
For added security and safety, you can make copies of your backed up data and hold them on external drives so that you’re always sure to have copies of your sensitive information. You can take things one step further to secure yourself by encrypting the external storage device you will use to store your backups as well. Keeping external, offline backups will also ensure you will never fall victim to ransomware attacks as you can always restore backups. Speaking of which, backups also come in handy when upgrading or just setting up a new device as you can easily transfer all your data, settings and stuff by just restoring an old backup. It is also possible to backup your iPhone data to third party cloud service providers such as Google Drive.
Do you backup? Will you back up in the future? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!