How do I secure my Android phone

Create an Android backup - that's how it works

Matthias Schwindt, Christian Löbering, Panagiotis Kolokythas

A backup of your Android smartphone is a must. Regardless of whether you are using a Samsung smartphone or a device from another manufacturer. Here you will learn step by step how to back up your data.

EnlargeCreate Android backup directly with Google. But there are also many alternatives.
© sdx15 / Shutterstock.com

We store a lot of important and personal information such as messages, documents and, above all, photos on smartphones. If this data is lost, the trouble is great. That is why in this article we explain how you can easily and regularly create an Android backup.

The backup functions from Google for all data and photos

It is easiest to first use Google's own backup options directly on the mobile phone. To do this, you need a regular internet connection, preferably via WiFi) because the backup is saved in the "Google Drive" cloud. And a Google account, which you probably use on your Android phone anyway.

Activate the Google backup in "Google Drive" under "Backup and restore" or "Account and backup" (the exact name may differ). The option can, for example, be called "Back up data" under the menu item "Google Drive" or "Back up my data".

The Google backup contains, among other things, the installed apps, WiFi access including passwords, contacts, appointments, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of app data is not backed up, which is why you have to log in to some apps on the new mobile phone. Depending on the number of apps, this can definitely take a while.

Back up photos: With its own "Photos" app, Google also offers the option of backing up the images on the mobile phone to Google Drive. To do this, open "Photos", tap on the 3-point menu in the top right corner and then on "Activate backup". Then tap on "Backup is in progress - 3-point menu - Backup settings" to select the device folders that are to be backed up in addition to the camera folder or to adjust the upload size. If you select "Original Quality", the photos will be saved without any loss of quality. If you select "High Quality", the images will be scaled down. Photos and videos backed up in "high quality" by June 1, 2021 will not be counted towards your cloud storage by Google.

Android backup in the cloud with Dropbox

The phone's internal storage is the worst choice for backup for obvious reasons. The Internet storage from the market leader Dropbox is very versatile. In addition to a complete system backup, it makes sense to save your own data in a safe place. This data includes, for example, photos, eBooks or recorded GPS tours of the navigation program.

EnlargeDropsync synchronizes a directory on your Android phone with your Dropbox

Dropsync: Drill out the Dropbox

The best way to transfer larger amounts of personal data to the cloud storage is via an automated synchronization tool. Unfortunately, the Dropbox mobile application does not support the synchronization of arbitrary directories. This function can easily be retrofitted with the Autosync Dropbox - Dropsync app.

All you have to do is select a local folder and a folder in the Dropbox via an assistant and activate the synchronization with a tick. In the settings you can then define how often the synchronization should take place (from 5 minutes up to 24 hours). Whether the synchronization starts on schedule also depends on the settings for the power supply, battery charge and internet connection factors. Files and folders that are not required (such as thumbnails) are not included in the synchronization based on exclusion criteria.

The “Immediate Upload” option is particularly convenient. As soon as a new file appears in a monitored folder on the phone, it is immediately loaded into the Dropbox. This is useful for photos, screenshots or Office documents created on the go. If more than one directory or files larger than 10 MB are to be synchronized, an upgrade to the Pro version is required.

iDrive: Backup app with security functions

The iDrive backup app also offers a simple way of backing up all data on an Android device in the cloud. If desired, the data can also be secured with encryption. The user has access to the backups of several devices via the iDrive account and can access them from anywhere. In addition to encryption, the app also offers two other security functions: Access to the app can be protected with a password. In addition, lost or stolen devices can be deleted from iDrive.

Tip:The best Android apps for switching smartphones

Local Android backup on the PC

The advantages of a local backup with your home PC are the huge amount of memory available. Multiple backup versions are no problem either. In addition, the security gain by storing the backup file separately from the phone. Manufacturers such as Samsung offer free programs for download. In addition to importing firmware updates, the main purpose is to synchronize them with local PC programs such as Outlook for appointments and contacts. Most of the time, a backup function is also included. At Samsung this software is called Samsung Smart Switch.

EnlargeMyPhoneExplorer is a top tool for smartphone owners

A better alternative is the freeware MyPhoneExplorer. This program is manufacturer-independent and works with almost all Android smartphones. MyPhoneExplorer creates backups of mobile phone data as well as apps and settings and stores the backup files on its own hard drive.

EnlargeIf the automatic connection via WLAN does not work, you can also connect the PC and mobile phone in MyPhoneExplorer via a fixed IP address.

After you've downloaded, installed, and started the tool on your PC, you'll need to connect to your smartphone. There are three ways of doing this. The easiest way to connect is via WLAN. The only requirements for this are that the PC and smartphone are in the same network and that the MyPhoneExplorer client is installed and started on the mobile phone. Then use "File -> Connect" to establish the WLAN connection in the PC program. If it fails, open "File -> Settings -> Connection", select the option Fixed IP address and enter the IP address that the MyPhoneExplorer client app displays. After a click on "Ok" and again "File -> Connect" it should work. If not, you can also connect using a USB cable. To do this, your mobile phone must be in "Charge only" mode when you connect it, and USB debugging must be activated. This feature can be found in the developer options. Alternatively, if your PC or notebook has Bluetooth, you can use it to establish a connection.