I have a teenage friend who posted this question on Facebook: “I lost my cell phone, and all my contacts. Here's my new number. Please text me with your contact information, so I can put it into my phone.” Isn't there some way to make sure the kid doesn't lose her contacts the next time she loses her phone?
I guess it is a foregone conclusion that your friend will lose her phone again sometime in the future. I'm a little nervous about her posting her phone number on Facebook and even more worried about all of her little friends who posted their phone numbers on Facebook in response to the question. The first rule of Facebook: Don't post phone numbers on Facebook!
But Facebook privacy is not the point in question. The point is: how do you avoid losing your contacts when you lose your phone?
The answer is so simple that it pains us to hear about anyone ever losing contact info. The simple, free solution: Set up a free email account online. Gmail is one of the simplest and most popular free email accounts. Enter your contact information there, so it's stored online. Then sync up your phone with your Gmail account. Any smart phone can do this, including Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. (If you currently have a phone and want to set this up, create the Gmail account, and then sync your phone and its contacts to that account. That’s all there is to it!)
Once you have an online set of contacts, if you lose your phone, your contacts are still stored in your Gmail account online. Once you get a new phone, sync it up with your Gmail account and all your contact information appears on the new phone.
The nice part about this solution is that it makes it possible to share your contact information with any device, and any computer. Not only will the same contact information be available if you’re using Gmail from within a Web browser, but you can sync Gmail contacts with the Mac Address Book, and with some effort, with Microsoft Outlook and other client applications.
But whatever you do, don't put personal email online on Facebook: Sooner or later you will come to regret it.