Protecting your data on Android Phone : back up your information on Android Smartphone
Much of the data on your Android device is created on it and, therefore, needs to be protected. Various Android features and tools can help you back up and synchronise your data We rely on our Android devices every day, and the data we store on them is important. Learn how to safeguard those family snapshots, those notes from that important meeting, and that long list of contacts you made at that conference using a multifaceted approach that leverages synchronisation with cloud based services, exporting and saving off important documents, and the backup applications available on app stores like the Android Market.
1 Managing your accounts
Android devices are ‘cloud-friendly’. This means that, unlike with phones of the past, important data like contact information is not confined to the device. Many core applications, such as Contacts, Calendar, and Gmail, sync with your online accounts – most notably your Google account, but you can add others as well. You can manage which accounts sync data within apps like Contacts by adjusting your device settings. From the home screen, press the Menu button and choose ‘Settings’, ‘Accounts & sync’. Your accounts are listed under the ‘Manage accounts’ heading. By default, you have your Google account tied to your device.
2 Configuring specific sync data
Not all data needs be synchronised. For instance, click on your Google account from the account listing to configure what information syncs with your device. You’ll see that you can sync your Google account contacts, Gmail, Picasa web albums and Calendar data with your device. You can add additional accounts, such as corporate email or social networking accounts, to sync with as well.
3 Enabling background data and auto-sync settings
There are two additional settings in the ‘Accounts & sync’ settings that you should be aware of. Enable the
‘Background data’ and ‘Auto-sync’ settings to allow applications to sync whenever necessary to keep your information synchronised; otherwise you will need to manually update your applications. Automatic synchronisation provides two benefits. First, it means that the changes you make in one place will show up very quickly in another. Second, it means the data is backed up. Lose your phone? No problem. Get a new one, synchronise, and your data is back!.
4 Importing and exporting important data
Many applications allow you to import and export data using the SD card on Android Phone. For example, you can export your contacts to the SD card and then save a copy on your computer. Launch the Contacts app, press the Menu button and choose ‘Import/ export’ on Android Device. Select the ‘Export to SD card’ option and save your contacts in a VCF file. You can then pop the card out of your device and into your computer to save off the contacts. Reverse this process to import them. Hunt around within your favourite apps to see if they contain export features. Some save their data to the SD card to begin with. For instance, the camera saves images to the SD card, usually under the ‘DCIM/ Camera’ directory. These photos can be copied off the SD card like a digital camera: pop the card out and save the images onto your computer.
5 Syncing web history, starred items, and search suggestions
Your Google account enhances applications in other ways. For example, if you are logged in to your Google account within the browser, then your browser history, starred items, and other information will show up on your Android device, and vice versa. Similarly, if you perform a Google web search from your computer, the terms will appear as recent or suggested searches when you try to perform a search on your Android device from the global search box, as long as your account is linked. Your web history across all computers, including Android devices, can be accessed at: www.google.com/history/. You can also star websites and make them available as part of your shared Google bookmarks, accessible at www.google.com/bookmarks/.
6 Leveraging third-party backup and restore applications
Backup applications abound on the Android Market. Many are located in the productivity category, but try searching for ‘backup’ as well. Backup applications attempt to keep your data safe, but they suffer from a fundamental handicap. Because the Android operating system is secure, an individual application cannot access any other app’s data without permission. Thus, most application data cannot be backed up. Many included applications, such as Contacts, do expose data to other applications. Most backup applications only protect data from common pre-loaded apps like Contacts and the Gallery. Be aware that most backup applications store your data on a remote server; therefore you must trust the developer of that application to keep your information safe, secure and private. Choose your backup application provider carefully.
7 Going a step further: comprehensive backup applications
It is feasible to perform a comprehensive backup of all data stored on your device. There are numerous applications, such as Titanium Backup, available on the Android Market that can do the job. However, these applications require root access to your device. Rooting your device isn’t difficult, but may invalidate your product warranties, break international laws, compromise your security, or ruin the Android device if you aren’t careful. Going down this route is only recommended for power users comfortable with taking such risks.