Mobile Device Backups to the Cloud – What’s at Stake

Which data do you hold in your mobile computing device? Obvious answers are phone books, contact details, message databases, photos and music files. But if you’ve been using your smartphone or tablet to buy things, you may have stored your credit card details. And if you also use the same computing device for work, data could range over everything from customer information to budget spreadsheets, business plans or even your company’s highly confidential marketing strategy. Suddenly, losing your mobile device isn’t just an inconvenience: it’s a serious cause of disruption.
Mobile Backup to the Cloud
Your Loss, Their Multiple Gains?                                                  
Mobile devices are smaller, lighter and easier to steal than most PCs. With their gigabytes of internal memory, they become a target for criminals who know they may be able to access confidential information worth more than the value of the device itself. Possibilities include breaking into the data within the phone or tablet itself, or connecting to backups you’ve made online. Any solution you consider for safeguarding your mobile data should take into account both eventualities.
Choosing the Right Online Backup
The first point to check is whether the cloud provider you’re looking at includes mobile device backup as part of its solutions. You want to be able to store copies of your critical information without hassle. Watch out for any geographical restrictions due to regulatory compliance: some data in professional contexts must not be stored in cloud servers that are in another country, for example. Data encryption is also recommended or even mandatory. Cloud online backup providers should be able to provide this service together with suitable encryption key management – strong enough to resist attempts by hackers or criminals to get into your files.
Dealing with What’s on Your Device
Getting copies of your information into secure online storage is a step towards peace of mind, but it doesn’t answer the question of what to do about the data that’s still in your mobile device memory.  Local device security can vary from high to non-existent, according to the device you’re using. You may want to consider one of the following. Firstly, unlink your mobile device from your online backup account; if your account is cross-platform and lets you access it via a PC for example. That way, nobody using your mobile device will be able to get at your backups. Secondly, look for a service provider that allows you to ‘remote wipe’ your mobile device. This lets you remotely access your device and delete the information it contains, hopefully before anybody else has been able to crack your security and breach your data.
Better than USB Drives
Yes, you can back up your mobile data to flash cards and other local devices. However, those local devices too often get lost with the very devices they are backing up. Let’s face it. Mobile computing devices, whether smartphones, tablets or phablets, are growing up fast now and need backup solutions to suit. Your place of work may offer a well-managed, secure service for you to use as an employee. Otherwise, an online mobile data backup solution that takes into account the points above can make a lot of sense too.