POOF! My Data is Gone...Or Is It?

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With our ever-increasing dependence on technology, we are unknowingly taking big risks on a daily basis.  Far too often we say, “I can’t be without my phone!” or “My whole life is on this (device)!”  But what happens if your device’s data is gone?  Is there anything you can do?  Your first thought may be to visit your local service provider, but the costs for their assistance can add up fast.  Fortunately, there are steps you can take on your own to attempt to recover your data at a fraction of the cost.

Recently, a client called in a panic stating, “I’ve lost everything!”  The client let his son play with his iPhone and the child unknowingly deleted all the contacts, text messages and notes from the device.  The client checked his iCloud back up (a service offered by Apple that sends a copy of your data to the Cloud, making the recovery of your iPhone’s contents a breeze), but forgot that the device had not been backed up in over 6 months!  At this time, the client began to recall the daily pop-ups advising that the device needed to be backed up, pop-ups the client had dismissed.  The realization that the client’s entire life and livelihood (i.e. family and business contacts, financial information, etc.) were gone started to sink in.

We referred the client to an iPhone data recovery software called “Dr. Fone.”  There are similar programs, like iSkysoft iPhone Data Recovery and Total Saver, which offer free limited trials to test before having to purchase the full version.  These programs can help recover data that you thought was gone forever.  For less than $100, the software is exponentially cheaper than having a forensic specialist look at your device and, just as important, Dr. Fone is easy to use.  The only requirements for using Dr. Fone are your device and a computer. 

Have you lost your device’s data?  Follow these easy steps and you’ll have your data back in no time: 

  • Head to wondershare.com and download the Dr. Fone trial version.  Click on the free trial button and download the program.
  • Open the program and connect your device to your computer.  The program will begin to analyze the data on the device.  Remember not to unplug your device.
  • After the program analyzes the data, it will scan the device and display the results of what it was able to recover.  You are now able to preview the current and potentially lost data from the device on the computer.  To your surprise you may see text messages (with attachments), notes, contacts, call logs, videos and even voicemails, both current and previously deleted data from your device.
  • Once the results appear on your computer screen, you can narrow the search to just “deleted items.” Check each section, or the selected few you are interested in recovering under each section, and press the recover button.
  • After you click on “recover” it will require payment, then you can save the recovered files to your computer.
  • Now let out a sigh of relief that you were able to retrieve data you thought was gone forever.  One small issue is you cannot copy the deleted files back onto your device with this program, but with the add-on program TunesGo, for a small additional fee you can move the data right back onto your device.

Of course there is no guarantee that the data you are looking for can be recovered. Take precautionary steps to make sure you have a constant backup of your data.  There are many different programs available, from local backups to Cloud backups. Data critical to your daily activities should be backed up at all times.  If you depend on iCloud backup, make sure you manage the account properly.  Apple offers a limited size of space for free, if you happen to go over that amount, invest the extra money to ensure your data is backed up.

Our client followed the steps above and Poof!  All the data that the son deleted was recovered! By the end of the day, the client was up and running as if nothing happened. The client was also happy not to have to drop off the iPhone to a third party service department for an unknown length of time, and was even more excited to save some money.

Contacts may be critical to business and pictures of children growing up are irreplaceable. Protect one of your most prized possessions, your data, with alternative methods so that in a pinch if your main device is lost or damaged, you can rest assured that you have your important data safe and sound somewhere else.

Angela Corona Torres is the Information Technology manager at McManis Faulkner.  She builds and maintains the firm’s network system.  In addition, she is responsible for instructing attorneys and staff about new and updated technology devices and programs. 

Topics:  Data Recovery, Electronically Stored Information, Mobile Devices

Published In: Professional Practice Updates, Science, Computers & Technology Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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