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Time to back up your smartphone (particularly if you use it on the toilet!)

Although many of us are still getting used to the idea of regularly backing up the data on our personal computers, we need to start giving serious thought to backing up our smartphones as well. At least that’s the conclusion from a survey conducted by Plaxo, an online address book service.

With an increased reliance on mobile devices, we are starting to build a new on-the-go warehouse of personal and business information which is not duplicated anywhere else. Although corporate BlackBerry users may have the necessary back-up systems in place, the rest of us appear to be an accident waiting to happen.

And those accidents are happening with increasing regularity. One-third of those surveyed by Plaxo admit to losing or damaging their smartphone on at least one occasion. Of those unfortunate individuals, 19 percent – that’s almost 1 in 5 – suffered damage by dropping it in the toilet!

Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised that so many smartphones end up in this watery grave. A recent Google survey found that 39 percent of smartphone-owning adults regularly take their phones into the bathroom with them, a figure that surely increases when you factor in teens and even younger users.

Other common smartphone “accidents” include damage caused by children playing with the device, leaving the phone at a restaurant or in the back of a taxi, and losing it at a concert.

Of all the information that we store in our smartphones, we are most concerned about our contacts, with 55 percent of those surveyed saying that replacing or recreating the address book would be the biggest hassle associated with a lost or damaged phone. Losing photos would be the next biggest problem (14 percent), followed by documents and e-mail (9 percent), apps (8 percent), and the calendar (7 percent).

When asked what it would be worth to avoid having to replace contact/address book information, most said less than $500, although a significant number (20 percent) quoted a range from $500 to “priceless”. The survey summed up the popular viewpoint with this quote from an unnamed respondent: “Losing data is a nightmare and can really mess up your life. It’s like losing your wallet…”

So, if you are one of the nearly 30 percent of smartphone owners that never back-up their contacts or other data, then now is a good time to start – particularly if you take your smartphone into the bathroom!

Do you regularly back up your smartphone data? If yes, which app do you use? Share your thoughts with The Online Mom!

Related article:

How to save a wet cell phone

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