That’s why it pays to back up the data remotely so you can recover lost files. However, having a cloud service like Apple’s iCloud or Google’s One service isn’t everything, and you need to know what to do if there’s a smartphone emergency.
If you drop your phone in water, the first thing you do is quickly switch off the phone and, if possible, remove the battery, SIM card and memory card. “Short circuits can also cause data to be lost,” says tech reporter Hannes Czerulla.
While most top-end smartphones these days come with waterproofing, it’s still worth taking precautions if it gets wet, as the insulation can become less effective with time. To save the phone itself, try putting it in a bowl of uncooked rice to soak up the moisture.
Anyone who accidentally deletes important photos, videos or documents must also act quickly. “The file might be marked as deleted, but it still exists,” explains Czerulla. However, eventually it will be overwritten during further use.
So you should turn off the phone immediately or go into airplane mode and then try to recover the data. On iPhones and Samsung phones, for example, your photo app has a deleted folder where photos remain for 30 days before permanent deletion.
In the case of Android devices, you can download apps to recover deleted files. “There are many free tools that you can download,” Czerulla says.
The safest way to protect your data remains a backup. “For practical reasons, it makes sense for many to save your data in the cloud,” says Kathrin Koerber from a consumer advice centre in Germany. In the case of Android devices this is done through your Google account. If you have an iPhone you can use iCloud or iTunes.
Google, for example, offers free unlimited photo backups, albeit in reduced quality.
But first you should consider whether you want to store sensitive personal data such as medical records in the cloud. The alternative is to back the data up on an external storage device such as a hard drive or USB stick.
However, “with this method, you do not usually catch all the important data such as the address book or SMS messages because they are not accessible via the file explorer,” Kuch says. – dpa