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How to cope when losing or damaging your smartphone

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We have all read the polls and studies – or have seen it first-hand as our fellow public transit commuters look down at their screens – to indicate that everyone loves their smartphone, perhaps a little too much.

Industry statistics have highlighted the fact that a substantial percentage of people own a smartphone and it’s expected to continue to grow across the globe. It has been estimated in an eMarketer report entitled “Worldwide Mobile Phone Users: H1 2014 Forecast and Comparative Estimates” that by the end of the year, about 1.75 billion people will own a smartphone.

A poll by Harris-Decima found that the average Canadian checks their smartphone for any notifications every 10 minutes. This means that most smartphone users check their phones approximately 100 times per day.

The quintessential question is: what happens if we were to lose our precious smartphone? Well, according to one study, we would feel “panicked,” “anxious,” “sick” or “desperate.” On top of these emotions, it would also cost consumers a lot of money: the Wall Street Journal reports that a smartphone user could dole out anywhere from $300 to as much as $1,000.

About 60 million people lose or damage their smartphones every year. With a lot of private information, dependency and emotional attachment associated with smartphones, how could one cope? Here are several ways to diminish the pain of losing your Samsung Galaxy, BlackBerry or Apple iPhone.

Backup Phone

Whether it’s a regular cellphone or a smartphone, it’s always prudent to have a backup phone, especially if you’re a user who maintains a lot of private and important information on your mobile device. Keep the backup phone in a safe place at home.

Use The GPS App

There are various GPS-based mobile applications that assist in your plight to find your smartphone. For the iPhone, there is the “Find My iPhone” app that can pinpoint the location of your device. This can be done on another person’s phone, tablet or computer.

Password

Surveys have found that anywhere between one-quarter and one-half of Americans do not use password protection on their smartphones. This is a mistake that is costing a lot of individuals. Take a few moments and create a password that is unique – refrain from using “123456” or “abc123.”

If you don’t like passwords, don’t worry because Apple is installing a fingerprint identification feature.

To The Cloud

Cloud storage has become one of the most popular trends in the computer industry. Businesses, governments, educators and individuals are storing their personal data in the cloud. Although many are losing their confidence in companies like Apple and Google in terms of protecting their privacy, it’s still a viable alternative to storing your sensitive data that you don’t want others to gain access to.

With Apple iCloud and Google Drive mobile applications, you can back up your documents, pictures, text messages and other information that you want to retrieve later. Mobile settings can also automatically do this for you.

Inform Your Carrier

Reporting your phone as lost or stolen to your mobile carrier is important. Not only would you not be required to pay if something unforeseen transpires, but your service provider can help you protect your data if your phone lacks any password protection or security. Companies can do this by transforming your phone into a “brick,” which would render it unusable.

All of this can be avoided by not losing your phone in the first place. Here are some helpful tips to not lose it:

  • Choose a common place in your home to pick up and drop off
  • When you’re on the go, leave it in your pocket, bag or on your belt
  • Use the smartphone less (this is hard to do, but not using it everywhere you go can help you not lose it)
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