Do you have a plan?

This has been near and dear to my mind since an experience with my iPhone, also known as my midlife safety net for my brain, crapped out during a routine update, unfortunately during a lightening storm.  Yeah! Apple actually worked with me to get the phone out of the black screen of death mode it was stuck in, but then the problem began.

You see, i have relied upon that thumb print to scan open my phone, and a software app that was free holds an encrypted copy of all of my logins.  sounds simple to fix, right?  well i could not for the life of me remember the password for my apple id, which is the gatekeeper to everything.  So we had to submit this to a process at apple that takes time to verify that i am who i say i am, and that this is indeed my phone.  Day 5 of no access and while frustrating, it is kind of not so bad.

but back to topic – Do you have a plan for your electronic devices should something go south on them?  Here is what i recommend based on my new found frustration of being locked out of electronic life:

  • grab a small notebook and carefully log key information such as your user name and password for each application.  take time to list out every electronic login you have…. this can be painful, but when you do the work up front it will save you the pain in the end.
  • make 2 copies of this information and file copy 1 somewhere you would know to look, like a sock drawer, or under an in box on your desk. (No, i dont use either of those locations if you want to try to hack my life)  Give copy 2 to someone you trust with your life (ie: spouse) to hold for safekeeping for you.
  • Make a point of updating this list or file on a monthly or quarterly basis.
  • If you are using two step verification on your iphone consider removing that if you dont want the extra step.  I dont advocate that because the second layer of security is helpful to prevent hacking.
  • Newest versions of iPhone offer an encrypted logging of passwords in control panel.  with this you need to know your apple password, and i also have restored use of my thumbprint.  its helpful knowing people cannot readily find this info unless they have my thumbprint and password.
  • Make sure you have a second phone or email contact so that should this happen there is a backup.  I did not have that in place, so having them contact a phone that is working slowed down the process… however steve’s number is still in the pipeline.

In the event that you are like me, building your electronic life back from the ashes, take my advice in this:  Breathe,  it will be ok.  In reality this was a wake up call that helped me to discover how very electronically tied in all of us are to these devices. I have been talking with a number of people about the grip electronics have on our lives, and everyone agrees they are wonderful tools, but there is that “big brother is watching” factor that is unsettling.

Being without a phone for 5 days reminded me how much more simple life was not so long ago.   How do we miss the simplicity of life before smart phones.