By Anthony Caruana

Mobile phones are dazzling machines. With their inbuilt cameras, diaries, MP3 players and other functions, they are a miracle it is easy to take for granted.

But one thing you should not take for granted is the mobile?s role as your little black book. All those names and phone numbers you store in a handset are very valuable information you do not want to lose, even if you lose your phone.

The good news is that you can protect your address book by backing up your phone?s SIM card, the tool that most phones use to store names and numbers their owners enter.

Phone backup is easy

One way to backup a SIM card is with a SIM card backup device (like the LM Technologies device pictured below). These devices connect to a PC, read the information on a SIM and copy it to the computer. The whole process only takes a few minutes. You?ll need to learn how to take the SIM out of your phone, but that?s not hard at all.

Synchronise your life

Another way to backup your SIM is by taking advantage of the software that comes with many modern phones and lets you connect to a computer to synchronise information between the two devices.

This is a good strategy because all of the names and addresses you store in your phone end up in your computer, and vice-versa.

This software is typically very easy to install. Follow the onscreen prompts, plug in your phone and you should be protected.

The two-card trick

Finally, many mobiles allow you to copy your data and settings to the second memory card in your phone.

Somewhere in your phone?s menus, a ?Tools? or ?Settings? option will offer you the option of copying information from the phone to the memory card. Memory cards are now very cheap ? expect to pay no more than $50 for a card that can store all of your contacts ? so you can make a copy of your data and keep it safe at home!

SIM backup strategies

1. Use a SIM backup device
2. Synchronise your phone with a computer
3. Use memory cards to store a copy of your numbers and addresses

What to do if you lose your mobile

Lost your Telstra mobile?

Call 125 111 to have the SIM card blocked so that calls can not be made from your service, and so Telstra can record the IMEI for lost and stolen handset numbers (charges to customers depend if the customer decides to cancel their service or not).

You can also find crucial information about what to do if your phone is stolen at
www.telstra.com.au/abouttelstra/advice/mobile/mobile.cfm

Source: Australian GO magazine