IPhone “Storage Almost Full” & Personal Data Governance


Remember when iPhone’s and iPods only had 8GB or 16GB storage options? Could you imagine owning a cell phone with only 16GB of storage?

We can all agree that the “Storage Almost Full” notification was the worst to get when you were just trying to take a photo or video. Chances are if you still had an older phone by the time phones with 32GB and 64GB came out, you were deleting apps, music, and text messages just to free up space so you could continue using your phone like normal. Phones now have crazy storage options – from 64GB all the way to 1TB. Along with storage on the device itself, there are several cloud storage options as well. From Google Drive, iCloud, DropBox, you name it – there’s a place to store your data.



The type of storage package you choose should complement how you use your device and govern your personal data.

  • Do you use a cloud or regularly backup your device? 64GB
  • Do you regularly record a lot of videos and take plenty of photos? 256GB
  • Do you download all your podcasts, music, and videos straight onto your phone? 512GB

So, you’ve picked your device and its memory options. Maybe you picked wrong and a year into your two-year contract, you’re getting a “Storage Almost Full Message.” With iPhones, you can check in your settings for recommendations of how to free up more storage. Picking a phone with lesser storage makes you pickier with what you’re saving and storing on your device. Phones with more storage let you save a plethora of information you may not even need without worrying about having to delete things to free up space.



Going through your phone is a process. It’s like spring cleaning – how many screenshots did you acquire that provide no actual value to you? How many saved Snapchats are taking up space in your camera roll? Do you still have contacts from high school that you haven’t talked to in years, but might need to contact them someday? Deciding what to delete and what to keep shows you what is truly important to you.



Many phone plans now offer protection against loss and theft, meaning they’ll replace your phone if you lose it or it gets stolen for a monthly fee – but what are you doing to ensure your data is protected if that happens?

On top of a passcode, smartphones now have facial and fingerprint recognition. That’s one layer of security to ensure that you’re taking the necessary steps to protect your data. Another common place to save information is in iPhone notes or Google Keep. If you’re storing important information in your iPhone notes, the least you can do is password protect them or “lock” them. Even with this added layer of protection, you still probably shouldn’t be saving your social security number in your iPhone notes.



Say your phone gets stolen out of your bag, or you leave it somewhere unattended. What’s your plan to retrieve all of the data that’s now lost? Some people pay for a cloud subscription, others may routinely back up their phone to their computers, but some people just leave all of their information strictly on the device.

Luckily, iPhones have “Find My iPhone,” so if your phone is on and connected to the internet, you can track where it is. However, if the phone is off, you won’t be able to track it. Features like “lost mode” and “erase a device” make it easy to protect your information if your phone is lost or stolen.



Companies like Apple make it so easy for consumers to take the necessary steps to protect their data – why don’t we hear more about companies doing so?

Your organization’s data should be protected as if it were your own personal information. How do you share company information and make sure it’s secure? If someone’s company-owned device is stolen, what are the steps taken to ensure the data is removed or protected? What’s in place to protect your organization from a security breach? Is your workforce informed on the importance of data security?

You wouldn’t think twice about protecting/keeping track of your own data. If you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about your data governance and privacy strategies.

Need help getting started with your data strategy? Request a free consultation with one of our consultants to get started.