Hopefully, by now you’re aware of the importance of backing up your devices. Most of us have probably had the experience at least once of losing data from our smartphones and unfortunately, this is often due to insufficient backing up of the device. This can be prevented as long as you always test your system. So don’t get stuck in the same position again.

The step many of us can forget is to make sure your backup program works by testing it out. If you’ve never configured a device to be backed up, make sure you know how to use it and that the software you’re using is up to date. All too often, people don’t test their backup plan, and when they have a problem and attempt to restore, they find that their backups were never set up or configured properly.

Before you rely on your backup strategy to keep your data safe behind the scenes, you should test your setup with a dry run. Set up the dry run so it either captures all the data in a routine backup or handles specific types of files or information, including irreplaceable documents such as photos and videos. It’s easy and straightforward to take yourself through a practice run so you know how the process works, and it doesn’t take much time. Simply delete a few files and restore them.

Regardless of which backup strategies you use, verify that they work properly before you need to rely on them, not when you need to restore files after you drop your phone in a pool of water or it gets lost or stolen.

Finally, remember that operating system and app updates can reset your preferences, so a post-upgrade check can save potentially lost data and provides important assurance that your backup settings remain active. After you know that you’ve set the correct preferences to copy your data to a local hard drive or online cloud, continue to check your backups periodically to assure they proceed correctly.

All it takes is a few minutes. Don’t lose your important photos, files or data ever again.