Life hack: Buy a cheap smartphone as a backup... like a REALLY cheap phone

in #life7 months ago

This is a lesson learned in my life recently and one that I will never make again. We all are probably guilty of putting entirely too much information on our phones. Some of this information cannot be retrieved if the phone get's dropped, wet, stolen, or in my case simply left somewhere.

I have a lot of security on my phone so I don't think that anyone is actually going to gain access to sensitive data but there was one thing on my phone that is of absolute importance to me that was exceptionally difficult for me to restore on my new phone. I have definitely learned my lesson and will not make this error in judgement ever again in my life.

In my case I am referring to my 2FA apps that I need in order to access a wide variety of mostly financially-oriented websites that my ability to live and get money depends on. Recently, I left my phone sitting next to a machine in a fitness center. It wasn't until I got home many hours later and was about to go meet friends for dinner that I realized that my phone was no longer in my possession. By the time I contacted the gym the phone was long gone.

I wouldn't say that phone "theft" is very common in Vietnam, but the advantageous picking up of a phone that has been left behind is probably a bit too much for some people to resist. These phone can be sold to people who will resell is somewhere else in the country, or perhaps somewhere else in the world and of course they don't get much money for it, but it is more than nothing.

Restoring all my other accounts was really not a problem, it is just time consuming. Getting copies of the simcards is also a piece of cake but again, it is just time consuming. All the truly important data on a phone or even on any of my computers is stored in the cloud so we are all good there... but there was one very important thing that I didn't prepare for and man oh man was it tough to get it sorted out. Some of the accounts cannot be restored and this is troublesome for sure.


I have learned from this mistake and have taken a precaution into the future that only ended up costing me around $50. While fifty bucks might seem like a lot to some people in the world just know that the amount of time that I had to spend restoring what I have on my phone compared to how much I expect to be paid per hour FAR exceeds the cost of the cheap backup phone.

So it probably seems pretty intuitive to most people but here is how this lifehack that I am going to use for the rest of my life works. Find a phone, preferably made by the same company as your main phone and make sure that it has a "cloning" feature on it. If it doesn't it still isn't that big of a deal but you are going to have to install the apps one by one manually. In my situation it wouldn't really matter either way because the only thing that is on my phone that is truly important are my contacts and my 2FA app.

Put the truly important stuff on your backup phone, charge it, then keep it in your house and NEVER use it.

This way when you do destroy your phone or lose it, your really important stuff is still there. Sure it will be shit-slow, because this is a $50 phone after all, but at least you have some access. Also, you can restore the 2FA app easily on whatever other phone you end up with when you do finally decide to get one.

I recently found out that most 2FA apps will not allow you to screencap the QR code, but this is easily circumvented if you just have someone else take a picture of it. I don't know why the screencap / grab is deactivated on this because it isn't like they are really preventing anything here. It's not like people don't know someone else nearby that has a phone.

The other thing you could do is to have someone take a screencap of your QR export code on whatever 2FA app you are using (which is likely the Google one) and then save it on the cloud or on other people's phones that you are 100% sure you can trust.

I think entirely too many of us that use 2FA are just running around assuming that we are never going to lose our phones and well, this is not the case for most people now, is it?

Spend the $50 and save yourself a world of headache, I think this is especially important for all of the clowns out there that are running around with smartphones that are worth $1000.... which is something I will never understand.


Excellent advice and $50 well spent! Time is money @gooddream

@tipu curate
The rewards earned on this comment will go directly to the people ( thetyper ) sharing the post on LeoThreads,LikeTu,dBuzz.

So far, I've only had about 3 phones in my entire life, and I can totally understand the need to have a backup phone.

I had never thought about having accounts that I couldn't recover in case I lost my phone, I only use the common apps (Whats, Telegram, and Google Authenticator) and I think those would be the most important in case I lost my current phone; but none of this is anything I can't recover with a backup or a few messages to support... although not too long ago something happened to me with Binance that so far has made me unable to use my account, lol. Not exactly the same thing, but I moved countries and totally forgot to change the phone I have 2FA linked to, and Binance is asking me for an absurd amount of documents to verify my identity.. something that is not worth it (at least not for now) because I don't even have cryptos in there xd.

After all, whether you can lose your phone or not, backing up your data will always be a good idea. After all, investing 50-100$ in a backup phone sounds more profitable than losing important data or accounts with money inside forever.

Binance is asking me for an absurd amount of documents to verify my identity

first off I'd like to give the finger to Binance just in a general sense. Screw those guys.

But yes, I feel as though most of us have somethings that are quite important on our phones. Recently I had to reinstall Viber which I had some paltry amount of credit in (like less than $5) but I cannot for the life of me remember which email address I signed up for it with. So I had to open a new one, which is a pain because now all my contacts are gone.

This could have easily been solved with a $50 backup phone.

I still can't complete registration on Binance because no amount of VPNs or having the correct documentation will convince I am in the USA. won't help me with anything in Cambodia because I'm an American citizen, and the whole situation is laughable. Blockchains, DeFi, so many high-tech sounding things, but accounting for the millions of people that live as residents outside their own countries is still beyond the scope of this tech.

I just closed my Cambodian bank account yesterday because I was asked in an automated notification that all USA residents must come and register their American tax info with the bank. Now we're back to using my wife's bank account and Binance.

it really is a pain in the ass. I stay away from the big exchanges whenever possible. Thankfully the USA hasn't dug their tax claws into Thai banks (which are the only banks I have even though I live in Vietnam) and I hope it stays that way. Otherwise I will probably have no choice but to simply not have a bank account either.

I just want to be left alone, America. Is that really too much to ask?

Forgot to mention too, don't forget your content is always welcome in ASEAN Hive regardless if it's not something specifically SE Asian. After all, you live in this part of the world and even things like this post contain valuable insight for ASEAN Hivers.

ok buddy, thanks for that

How sad, like you my brother left his phone in the motorcycle near where he rode. Anyway, atleast it gave you a lesson.

The rewards earned on this comment will go directly to the people( @thetyper ) sharing the post on Twitter as long as they are registered with @poshtoken. Sign up at

I'm not very fond of buying phone, the recent phone I'm using is old and I'm using it from the past two years. but you are right my friend, you should have a back up phone, as this is an electronic device, no one can guarantee it. It can stop working anytime.

My work pays for my phone and I update it on a pretty regular schedule, so what I do is just keep my old one with everything on it. Kind of the same as what you do. That old one stays in a drawer next to my bed. It's not the latest and greatest, but it is usable. I'm sorry you had to go through that!

yeah it sucked but as they say "good decisions come from the wisdom obtained by making bad decisions."

I will need to do this when I move overseas and get a new number as all my accounts will need updating anyway. Don't know how big a mission that will be, but will cross that when the time comes. My current phone has been hard locked and in the process of doing a sim swap which has taken time . 3rd week now and still not resolved so fingers crossed will be back to normal over the weekend. There is no such thing as helpful and understanding staff these days so imagine if I was living off crypto I would be screwed.

There is no such thing as helpful and understanding staff these days so imagine if I was living off crypto I would be screwed.

absolutely, and it isn't until you end up truly screwed that you realize how absolutely vital it is for us (you / me / anyone involved in crypto) to have a seriously extensive backup system in place.

Speaking the story lost phone, I agree like you, because I have gained a lot of experience, this my mistake negligence .it’s is a lot of our benefits, and also has some disadvantages, so everything can not be customized to our liking.