How to Archive Text Messages – Options to Consider to Achieve Compliance

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Along with popularity of text messaging in the financial sector, there are now many text messaging archiving regulations set in place to mitigate various risks, including money laundering and fraud. Even public offices in different states are subject to open records laws that require them to archive text messages. Companies need to know how to archive text messages to ensure that they’re complying with regulations.

Business-related messages and public records sent via SMS will need to be retained to comply with regulatory standards. Text messages sent through iMessage, SMS, or MMS can be forgotten over time or lost due to how frequent people send text messages and how numerous the messages are. There are also cases when the messages or entire text conversations were lost due to a smartphone’s upgrade.

Some people deliberately delete text messages to eliminate the records of their illegal activities. Because of both the popularity of text messaging and the regulatory standards set in place to retain communications data, firms and organizations must know how to archive text messages to protect themselves and achieve regulatory compliance.


Using SMS Backup Apps(Android)

Companies and government offices that allow their employees to use Android Smartphones for official businesses can mandate their employees to back up their messages manually through an SMS backup app. These mobile applications back up text messages and saves them locally in the Android device.

After retaining the text message in the device, people can then export them to a computer or upload them to the cloud. People will first have to install the app and then tap Set up a backup to start creating a backup of information that the user will select. Text messages, as well as files, are among the information that can be backed up, and they can be saved directly to the phone or Google Drive. Backing up information can also be automated by scheduling the time to back up.

After backing up the information, people can then view the message by going to the main menu and tapping View Backups. The data will be saved in the XML format.

While this option can be effective, it can be extremely impractical and time-consuming, especially in a hectic workplace such as in the government sector. When a government employee forgets to back up their messages through the app or export the backup SMS to their work email account, it could expose their organization to a great deal of lawsuits due to non-compliance with FOIA and Sunshine laws. An increasing of states are updating their public text archiving laws, such as Texas with their SB 944 law, which now makes it more imperative than ever for public agencies to invest in an enterprise-grade mobile archiving solution to enable a prompt public records request response effectively.


Using iExplorer (iOS)

One way to back up messages in iOS is by using iTunes for devices using the OS Mojave or earlier systems, or by using the Mac’s Finder if they’re using the OS Catalina. Instead of relying on either method and possibly getting confused due to the seeming roundabout nature of iTunes, people can use iExplorer to save texts from iOS devices.

iOS users will first need to download and install iExplorer, and then they will have to connect their iPhone or iPad. People will first have to make a backup within iExplorer to access their messages. iOS users can then export conversations, including any attached media and documents, and save them in PDF, TXT, or CSV format.

Similar to the previous point, relying on this solution alone is not enough especially for heavily regulated sectors such as the financial services. FINRA text archiving rules, for instance, oblige companies to have a sufficient system in place that would allow them to supervise all their employees communications. When an employee didn’t upload the backups of their iMessages accidentally or deliberately, the firm will inevitably face non-compliance fines and penalties from FINRA.


Using TeleMessage Mobile Archiver

A firm or organization that uses both Android and iOS devices can find it difficult to archive text messages and comply with regulations due to how different the methods are for these devices. Therefore, they need to a mobile archiving solution that can capture and retain messages regardless of the platform or the operating system it uses.

The TeleMessage Mobile Archiver effectively addresses compliance, regulatory, eDiscovery response requirements and reduces risk across the financial industry as well as complying with the various Open Records Acts’ retention requirements. An organization’s employees can use TeleMessage to send messages securely as well as archive text messages in Android and iOS devices. Companies will no longer have to back up their text messages to retain such information manually.

TeleMessage captures and records mobile content, including SMS, MMS, voice calls, social media, and WhatsApp Chats from corporate or BYOD mobile phones. Messages are securely and reliably retained within the TeleMessage servers or forwarded to an archiving data storage vendor of your choice.

Our mobile archiving products securely record content from mobile carriers and mobile devices for a variety of ownership models (BYOD, CYOD, and employer-issued). With our multiple archiving solutions, you can always find the right tools or blend for your requirements:

Network Archiver

Android Archiver

Enterprise Number Archiver

WhatsApp Archiver

TeleMessage offers cross-carrier and international mobile text & calls archiving for corporate and BYOD phones. Contact us to learn more about our mobile archiving products.

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