Many of use will go through dozens of phones in our lifetime, and for some it may even be hundreds, but usually 2 or 3 phones every 5 years or so for most. But for many of us we just leave our old phone sitting in presses never to be used again.
However some of us will give our old phones to family or friends and others will sell their old device. Either way giving or selling your old phone or tablet presents a very valid risk to your privacy.
Consider these steps before you hand over your device, and never just hand over any device without first performing a full factory reset.
Copy Your Data
Most devices will come with software to help you copy and backup your data to your home PC or Mac. This is very important as if you factory reset before doing this then you will loose all your photos, music and documents.
Some smartphones will allow you to just connect to your PC or Mac via USB and see it as a drive, you can then just find your items and drag them across to your PC.
Backup Your Settings
You should ensure that you backup your settings and contacts to the cloud, virtually all smartphones will allow syncing of your contacts, settings and app information. Google’s Android OS will ask you upon setup to keep things synced, you can select no at that point, so ensure you turn this feature on or manually sync before factory reset. Windows Phone and iOS also have the same options to sync.
Remove SD and Sim Cards
Don’t forget to remove your Sim and SD cards, your SD card may be a large capacity and expensive, it also contains pictures and other information you don’t want a stranger to get.
Some devices such as tablets come with 3G Sim cards installed, ensure you remove these, someone else may have access to your 3G plan and cost you money.
Lastly, Factory Reset
Once you are happy you have removed and/or backed up everything you need to your PC or Mac then you can go to settings and find your devices reset option. Ensure you do a full factory reset and not just a soft reset as some devices have this option.