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Smart phones, iPhones, Windows phones, Blackberry phones, cell phones, Android phones, it seems that everyone has some sort of a mobile phone. No longer just a “phone,” though, your cell phone is actually a computer; most likely, a more powerful computer than some found on the Space Shuttle.

Just for fun, try asking a high school or younger kid what the “cell” in “cell phone” means. Let me know if you get anything other than a, “huh?”

What would you do if you lost your cell phone, or if it was somehow destroyed? Studies have shown that 70 million cell phones are lost, stolen, or broken every year. Sometimes, cell phones can be repaired, sometimes, not. I actually once repaired my daughters’ cell phone, which had been rendered inoperable after it fell in a toilet. Fortunately, the toilet was clean, but it took forever to disassemble the phone and all of its teeny, tiny connectors and doodads. After a long session under a hair dryer, the phone, miraculously, lived. A few months later I had the privilege of repairing the same phone after it went through the clothes washer. I was glad that it never made it into the dryer, though.

Have you thought about what you would do if you lost all of the data on your cell phone? How many phone numbers do you have memorized? Are they recorded anywhere other than in your phone? These tiny, portable computers are often being used to store important, hard-to-replace information, such as business contacts, text messages, financial files and memos, as well as non-critical items such as songs and videos. I hope you are not using your cell phone as your only storage device for precious family photos.

As such, it’s becoming just as important to back up cell phones as it is to back up desktop and laptop computers. Cell phone backup methods can be different from those used with conventional computers, so it pays to know your phone and how to back it up.

Backup methods vary between cell phone carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc.) and cell phone manufacturers (Samsung, Apple, LG, Motorola, etc.). You will probably want to investigate both options before deciding which way to go. The major choices involve backing up your phones data to be stored for future use (usually to a laptop or desktop computer), backing up to an online cloud service (like Google Drive or Apple’s iCloud), or using one of these methods for immediate transfer of your data to a new phone.

For example, AT&T has three cloud-based backup choices for Android and iPhones listed at www.att.com/features/data-backup-transfer.html. The procedures, aimed mainly at transferring your existing data to a new phone, are fairly easy to follow, as long as you pay attention to detail.

Alternately, you can use software from your phone’s manufacturer to backup data directly to your computer for storage. With my Samsung Galaxy Note phone, I use software from Samsung called Smart Switch. This allows me to connect to a computer using the same USB cable that charges the phone. I then use the Smart Switch software to copy the phones data to the computer.

The best way to find methods apropos to your situation is to do a Google search. Go to google.com and search for “backup [name of phone carrier] [model of phone].” Examples of such a search would be, “backup AT&T iPhone 6,” and, “backup T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy 8.”

Whatever you do, backup your cell phone data and do it today. Recovering lost cell phone data is a real hassle.