It’s easy to take cell phones for granted, but they provide a tremendous service. Think about it: All that you have to do to speak with someone is type in a 10 digit number.
At this point, phone numbers are as closely tied to someone's identity as their name and Social Security Number. That’s why it’s a good idea to use a fake phone number to protect your identity.
Be honest. How many phone numbers can you list off the top of your head? You might know a few of them by heart, but there’s no way it’s even 10 percent of your contact list. You shouldn’t feel too bad about this, though. According to researchers, the median network size is a staggering 472 phone contacts.
Unless you have a severe case of hyperthymesia, you probably rely on your contacts list pretty heavily. Anyone who has ever had to transfer a contact list by hand can tell you how aggravating that can be.
Fortunately, the analog days are long over and you don’t need a pen and paper anymore. You can easily export contacts to Google and access your contact list safely from any device.
How Do You Save Contacts to Google?
For the longest time, you could export your contacts by swapping out your SIM card. All that you had to do is remove the SIM card from your old phone and insert it into your new phone.
Although SIM cards are still in use, there are better methods now. A damaged SIM card or missing phone would mean you’ve lost all of your contacts. By uploading your contact list to your Google account, it’s much safer and easier to transfer.
From an Android Device
Using an Android phone is the easiest way to save your contacts to Google. In fact, there is a good chance that your Android contacts are backed up to your Google Contacts already.
It’s a well-known fact that the Android operating system was developed by Google. That means that the default settings of your phone are to back up your contacts, call history, app data, and other information to Google Drive. All of this data will automatically be synced to your new phone as soon as you log into your Google account and other Google apps.
Here is how you can make sure that your contacts are being automatically backed up:
- Tap Settings on your device.
- Select the “System” or “Google Settings” option.
- Tap the “Backup” or “Backup and reset” option.
- Enable the “Backup to Google Drive” if it isn’t already active.
- Open the Google Drive app to make sure your contacts have synced correctly.
From an Apple Device
Apple product users have access to the iCloud storage service that operates as the chief rival of Google. While the two services have free options, iCloud only comes with a third of the storage space as Google. For that reason, many Apple users prefer to use the services of Google instead.
The first thing that you’ll need to do is install the Google Drive app on your iPhone or iPad. Once you’ve installed the app, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Open the Google Drive app and sign in to your account.
- Select the “Settings” option.
- Open the “Backup” option and “Back up with Google Drive” should appear on the screen.
- Enable the “Contacts” option.
- You’ll also have the opportunity to back up “Calendar Events” and “Photos & Videos,” if you’d like.
- The contacts sync could take a few hours, so sign in later and make sure it finished correctly.
If you don’t have the space for another app, there is another way to save your contacts:
- Open the “Settings” on your device.
- Select the “Passwords and Accounts” option.
- Enter your Gmail account information.
- Toggle the “Contacts” button to import contacts automatically.
From a VCF File
Variant Call Format (VCF) file extensions — or vCard files — are commonly used by businesses to store contact information. These plain text files will typically include a name, profile picture, phone number, physical address, email address, and other important details.
Both Android and iOS users can load vCards directly into their Contact apps. Windows and Mac users will need to use Microsoft Outlook and macOS, respectively.
Here is how you can create a VCF file to import your contacts to a new phone:
- Open the Contacts app on your phone.
- Select the “Menu” option, then the “Settings” option, and then the “Export” option.
- Choose the account(s) that you want to export your contacts from.
- Press the “Save” button to download the .vcf file.
- You can physically save the .vcf file on storage devices such as a SIM card, memory card, or jump drive. You’ll also be able to store it in Google Drive or Gmail if you would like.
Here is how to upload a saved .vcf file to a new device:
- Open the Contacts app on your phone.
- Select the “Settings” option, then the “Import” option, and then the “.vcf file “ option.
- Press the “Menu” icon in the Downloads manager and find where you saved the file. It will be either a physical storage system or a cloud-based service like Google Drive.
- Choose the .vcf file that you want to import and Google will automatically transfer it to your phone.
How Do You Restore Contacts From Google?
Once you’ve uploaded your contacts to Google, you’ll be able to easily access them from a different device. You’ll have the ability to access your stored information with a smartphone, tablet, or even a burner phone.
Here is how you can transfer your contact lists to the new device:
- Open “Settings” and tap the “Google” option.
- Select the “Restore contacts” option from under the “Services” tab. The exact details can vary depending on the operating system of your device, but they should be similar.
- Choose the Google account where you previously stored your contacts.
- Press the “OK” button, then tap “Restore” to start the transfer process.
- The device will only save contacts that you don’t already have saved in order to prevent duplicate contacts and redundancies.
Use a Second Number to Protect Yourself
It’s much easier to maintain a contact list of all the important people in your life than it used to be. With a few simple buttons, you can quickly upload and save the contact information for every person in your phone.
While that’s highly convenient, it also works both ways. That means that anyone that has your phone number will have easy access to it for a long time.
Instead of changing your number, you should download the Burner app instead. You’ll still be able to use your phone as normal. The only difference is that any incoming or outgoing calls and messages will be rerouted first.
A fake number will appear on the Caller ID of the recipient, and they’ll have no idea that it's not your real number. You can keep the number as long as you like, or “burn it” whenever you want a new one.
Visit Burner today to create your second number and experience a free seven-day trial.
Android Operating System Definition | Investopedia
Why Are SIM Cards Still a Thing? | Vice
Hyperthymesia: Definition, Causes, and Symptoms | Medical News Today