I have a confession: A little over a week ago, I lost my iPhone 4S. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it hurts. My whole life was in that phone — important text messages, irreplaceable camera roll pics and a lot of my personal data and accounts, which also made the entire experience extremely nervewracking. I was traveling down in New York City when it fell out of my pocket (which happened as I pulled out my gloves — stupid cold weather…), and I didn't realize it was gone until I landed at my friend's apartment on the other side of town.

Maybe if I'd had this item, things would've gone differently. The iAlert (or eyeLert) is like a little warning system that lets you know when you're physically separated from your iPhone or iPad. The gadget pairs via Bluetooth, and if it detects that you're a pre-set distance away from your device, it vibrates, beeps and blinks the LED for one minute (or until you hit the button).

If you're the forgetful type, don't worry — you don't have to remember to carry it around. The gadget has a pop-out module that can be slapped onto a key chain or belt loop, so you have it on you always. The product costs $38 from USBFever, which may seem like a lot, but take it from me — when you're staring down the barrel at a potential loss of hundreds of dollars, that seems like chump change.

As for me, when the tears cleared, I soothed myself knowing things could have been worse. While I didn't sync my phone that week, it hadn't been too long so I still had most of my data backed up. And thank goodness for Find My iPhone. Although there was nothing I could do when I mapped little "Harvey" running down the street on the other side of town, the service did save my bacon: I was ultimately grateful that I could remote-wipe my device. And thankfully, since I work for a tech site, I had a few back-up phones waiting for me back at home, including another iPhone and a couple of Androids that I was rather fond of.

But let this be a lesson: Please, for goodness' sake, sync your data! And if you're an iOS user as well, do not neglect to tag your device through Find My iPhone. Say it with me now: Remote wipe is your friend.

Have you ever lost a phone? Did you get it back, or did you wind up remote wiping it as well? And could you see yourself using something like iAlert, to make sure your device is always near you?

[via GeekSugar]