Protect Your Data when Upgrading Devices

Protect Your Data when Upgrading Devices

Dennis Snider

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As smartphones and tablets become ever more pricey, many people are starting to buy used/refurbished devices and also to trade in their old devices to save money. It’s a growing marketplace that definitely has its advantages, but you must remember to make sure to stay secure when trading smartphones.

Firstly, make sure that you saved all your data before getting rid of your device. Apple users can simply make sure that they have backed up the data to iCloud; Android users can use Google Drive to save their information, or simply connect to a PC via USB and store the information there.

Next, make sure your accounts are deactivated. Not only will this ensure that a new user will not be able to access your accounts, but also that they won’t have any trouble opening their own new accounts. This is especially important with iPhones, which can be unusable unless you deregister yourself. Android phones are not so problematic, but failing to deactivate accounts such as Google can cause problems.

Use data encryption to make all the data on your device inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t have the dedicated encryption key. This is done automatically on iPhones, but on Android phones it must be done manually in security settings.

The simplest way to make sure that all the data on your old phone is secure is to perform a factory reset. On iPhones, you need to find the “Erase All Content” option in settings; for Android phones select the “Factory Data Reset” option in privacy settings. If you have a large number of phones to deal with, for a company account for example, specialized software can erase data on a large collection of devices simultaneously.

Finally, it seems basic, but don’t forget to remove your Sim card and any SD cards prior to selling or trading in your device.

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