It’s time to back up your iPhone and iPad: iOS 7 is almost here!

Later today, probably in just a few hours, Apple will begin rolling out the iOS 7 update for the iPhone and iPad. Arguably the most major software update to ever grace an Apple handheld device, iOS 7 brings a whole new look and feel to Apple’s line of smartphones and tablets, as well as tons of new functionality.

But before you upgrade your devices to iOS 7, there’s a crucial step you should take: back up your devices!

While most Apple upgrades are a smooth, simple process, there’s no guarantee that you won’t lose data when you decided to upgrade. Since we’re doing more than ever from our smartphones and tablets (and some even consider those devices more important than proper hygiene), the fallout from losing data on your device could be devastating.

So here’s how to back everything up before you upgrade to iOS 7. Read More

Carbonite Mobile Brings Wireless Backup to Android Phones

Carbonite Mobile Backup for Android Devices
Infographic, Data from Carbonite’s survey with Wakefield Research

We’ve talked before about how important it is to back up your data (see here, here, and here). But what’s interesting is that so many of us don’t back up our mobile devices: according to a survey from Carbonite and Wakefield Research, 62% of people with camera phones don’t back those photos up anywhere. And that’s just the photos! iCloud backup may help iPhone owners, but for Android users the choices are less straightforward, unless there’s specific backup software associate with your device.

Carbonite has just released a solution for Android (and iOS) users that can take the pain out of backing up video and photos. Just configure the app once to automatically back up photos and videos, and you can access them remotely anytime from any Android or iOS device, plus your computer.

Carbonite is also the maker of a respected backup system for computers, and offers both individual and enterprise solutions. Makers of a respected backup system for individual and enterprise users, subscribers to the primary Carbonite service also receive 24/7 access to all the files they have backed up with Carbonite.

Carbonite mobile also offers Android users some of the same features as iCloud’s “find my phone.” First off, there’s the ability to locate the phone on a map and force it to ring, even if it’s on vibrate or silent. For security, you can use the app the remotely lock the device with a pin number, or to just go all-out and wipe the contents of your phone. It’s worth it if your device is stolen, and less of a big deal if you’ve been backing up your data.

Right now, Carbonite’s mobile solution is free, presumably as a loss leader to get you interested in their home and business backup services. But given that you should be backing up anyway (remember all those articles we just linked to?) it’s not a bad idea to investigate whether Carbonite could be a good comprehensive backup solution for your needs.

Protect Your Data, Part 2: Cloud Backup Recommendations

Cloud Backup for iPhone
Earlier this week we talked about how to back up your data using an external hard drive, so that your data will be safe even if your devices meet an untimely fate (like those of Wired writer Mat Honan). But cloud backup is important too, and as the major industry players push services like iCloud, Google Drive and Amazon Backup, it becomes more important than ever to make sure that remote data is secure.

It’s important to note that hackers got into Honan’s computer through what’s called “social engineering,” which describes exploiting the people involved in security rather than hardware or software. Specifically, they were able to find out the last four digits of his credit card from Amazon, and were able to use that, combined with his billing address retrieved from an online lookup, to have his Apple ID reset by Apple tech support. So, while password security is essential, it’s not enough. Read More

Total Recall: Back Up Your Data to Protect Yourself

Last week, former Gizmodo writer Mat Honan had everything stolen and wiped by hackers. Everything. They wiped all his devices (Macbook Air, iPad, iPhone) and had access to all his online accounts, including his Gmail and Twitter. You can read the entire story on Mat’s blog, but the key takeaway is that hackers used Apple tech support to gain access to his iCloud and take over his entire digital life.time machine backup utility icon

So how do you keep yourself from being the victim of a hacking? To start, one method of backup is not enough, especially when that one method is in the cloud: it’s best to use an old-fashioned external hard drive backup too.

Mac users have it relatively easy, with the Time Machine backup utility designed by Apple for this exact purpose. Time Machine makes a copy of your hard drive, and then updates it as you make changes to your hard drive. Time Machine can be used with an external hard drive, or paired with Time Capsule, Apple’s external hard drive that doubles as a wireless device. Time Capsule comes with either 2 or 3 TB of storage, which should be enough storage for most users.

PC users will need to buy an external hard drive as well as one of the many backup softwares on the market. The good news is that a 2TB hard drive will only run you between $100-$200, and the backup utility Easeus-Todo is free as well as highly rated. Once you’ve downloaded and extracted Easeus, it’s simple to backup either all or part of your data, as well as schedule future backups so you’re always protected.

Once you have your data backed up on an external hard drive, it’s time to also make a copy in the cloud. From iCloud and Google Drive to Dropbox and Nexus, there are tons of backup options, which we will talk about in more detail later this week. For now, it’s enough to know that backing up — without the cloud — is still a must for the foreseeable future.

Box Cloud Storage Teams Up with HTC & Offers 50Gigs Free for Android Users

box 50gb free space for android I’m still riding the Dropbox train, but all the waves that the folks over at Box are making in the cloud storage space is making it real hard to argue the pros of my little 8 gigs of free space with DropBox when Box is “closing deals” like partnerships with the new HTC devices being announced as I type this at Mobile World Congress, and dishing out 50GB of free space for all Android users.

Instead of trying to create its own cloud storage service like other competitors (namely Apple’s iCloud), HTC has announced that it has teamed up with Box to offer users of its new HTC One flagship smartphone 25GB of free storage free for 2 years. This also helps out Box gain momentum to go head-to-head with the likes of Dropbox, its widely popular competitor. If Box can successfully align itself with partners like HTC (like it’s done int the past with LG and iOS) by offering “can’t beat it with a stick” storage deals, Box might just stand a chance against the Dropbox Juggernaut. Read More

New YouSendIt Cloud Storage – Dropbox Killer?

I feel kind of dirty writing this since I am a major fan of the Dropbox cloud storage service. Nevertheless, as a “jack of ALL tech” as I feel compelled to inform our readers about the new YouSendIt cloud storage and file sharing service that’s sure to give people even more options as to where they store and share their files in the cloud. Read More

Access Stored Mozy Data on your iPhone or Android

For the record: I am Dropbox ’til I die (or until something better comes along).

Mozy: a familiar name in the cloud backup/storage game may just be that “something better” with its iPhone and Android app that gives users access to their stored data and more.

On its face, the Mozy app just appears to be a way to view files that you have backed up to your Mozy online account. But there is much more functionality that appears once you dig a little deeper. In addition to just browsing files, you can:

  • View backup history for all devices linked to Mozy Account
  • Share files via in-app email or post photos directly to Facebook Wall
  • Full resolution photo downloads to device

Similar to Dropbox, up to 2GB of Mozy storage space is free, as well as the mobile apps; but, while Dropbox is more geared towards file storage/synchronization (that you could use for backup purposes), Mozy is still a trusted name dedicated to full device backups of your computers. The Mozy app just gives you additional access to files backed up to your account.

If that’s the case, maybe you don’t have to choose either Dropbox or Mozy, use both:

  • Dropbox for complete data synchronization across all of your devices
  • Mozy for complete off-site data backup management for your laptop/desktop computer.

Visit Mozy Mobile for more information and download instructions for your device.

Let “Lookout” App Watch Over Your Mobile Data

What can happen when you download software…A Virus right? This idea is (or at least should be) at the forefront of your mind when you download anything to your desktop of laptop computer.

My guess is that for mobile app downloads, most folks throw caution to the wind and download away without even thinking about the possibility of getting a virus that could potentially damage any and all information stored on your device.

Truth of the matter is, smartphone usage has climbed astronomically in recent years. With that growth comes the possibility for lost/corrupt data, or a lost device altogether! So it would make sense for any user that relies on their smartphone for any task to invest in a good data backup/retrieval service.

The company Lookout hopes to aid those who want to make sure their smartphone data is safe from virus, spyware and malware attacks. The trick to Lookout’s web-based, cloud-connected service is that it doesn’t just backup your data in the event that you do get a virus; Lookout acts as a virus protector much like security software downloaded to a computer by identifying and blocking threats on a user’s phone. The Lookout app also includes a service that has helped users retrieve over 130,000 lost or stolen phones.

Currently the app is free to download to all BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Android devices (Sorry iPhone folks!). So do yourself a favor, quickly browse over all the photos, contacts/clients/customers, documents, music, and any other pertinent and important information. My guess is you wouldn’t want to lose any of it to a hacker, virus, malware or spyware. Yes, you now have to protect your smartphone from these threats, so it would behoove you to head on over to Lookout and find out how you can lock down your phone…for free!