8M cell phones will be lost in '07 -- how to back yours up

Most don't consider the ramifications of losing business data

The way people lose cell phones, you would think they are disposable, and for the consumers who get them gratis for signing service plans offered by the big mobile carriers, that may not be far from the truth. Of course, if you're one of more than half a million people who just purchased an iPhone, losing your personal data and iTunes along with your phone comes as painful salt in the wound.

For many business people, however, losing a cell phone or a smart phone loaded with invaluable contacts, calendars, e-mails and client data can be a severe blow to their business lives.

In many cases, this trauma of lost data can be avoided by simply employing one of the many backup and synchronization techniques that run the gamut from linking to a PC via USB cables and client software, to downloads embedded in wireless e-mail and enterprise-level product suites.

The need for backup and sync capabilities becomes clear when you consider the number of lost mobile phones. According to Bill Hughes, principal analyst at In-Stat, "As it is, there will be 8 million phones lost in 2007, including 700,000 smart phones. Any of these, particularly the smart phones, is a corporate data security breach waiting to happen and make headlines."

Unfortunately, many individuals and businesses don't consider the ramifications of these losses until it is too late. It may seem hard to believe, but according to Ken Dulaney, vice president of mobile computing at Gartner Inc., apathy among individual users and the mobile carriers seems to be the primary response to this problem.

"If you lost your phone, you care about it, but most people don't think about it," Dulaney claims. "The carriers are going to focus on ring tones, they're going to focus on e-mail delivery, mobile television, music downloads -- stuff that they know appeals to everybody on the entertainment side."

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