A phone may be the rage, but give it a year or two, it loses its lustre; new models flood the market and you start to itch for an upgrade. Of course, you are not just going to toss your old phone in the drawer labeled “old stuff”! Trading it in can help with the cost of an upgrade and selling it online can give you some major cash.
Before you sell off your old smartphone in favor of something shiny and new, though, it is important that you take some precautionary measures. You need to prep your cast-off device properly by deleting all the precious digital entertainment and media and the wealth of sensitive personal data that you do not want disappearing or falling into the wrong hands.
To avoid potential trouble here are few steps to take, to make sure that your information is really cleared off your phone before you get rid of it.
Backup Apps and Data
First thing to do is make a backup of your data and personal information including your contacts, messages, calendar entries, app data, documents, photos e.t.c.
You can do this either by plugging the phone to your laptop and syncing the data, or you can upload it to Cloud storage service such as Dropbox, Flickr, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive if you need online based approach.
Encrypt Your Phone
You may decide to delete your data after you back them up, but to ensure all of your data is gone, you may need to take a step further and encrypt the phone. That way, you will ensure the data will not be able to be recovered by anyone. To do this, plug your phone in; go to your “Settings” page, then Security, next Screen Lock or Encrypt Device, depending on your smartphone.
You will be prompted to create a unique password or lock PIN, and that allows you to perform an encryption. The process can take about an hour, and once you encrypt your phone, there is no going back. After the device is encrypted, now you can then perform a factory data reset.
Restore to factory setting
The easiest way to erase every single data on your phone is by initiating a factory reset. Restoring your phone to factory setting erases all of the data and takes your phone back to the settings that were on it when initially purchased.
This usually only works with smartphones and basically entails going to Settings, then Backup & reset, then Factory data reset. The factory setting is usually a permanent form of erasing as you cannot reverse a factory reset.
Get rid of your SIM or MicroSD cards
After you have cleared all data, the next last step in making sure everything is gone is physically removing the memory card and the SIM cards.
Most people forget to take these out, with the hope that it is harmless after a factory reset, but contacts and call logs can be stored on your SIM or microSD cards.
Clean The hardcover of the Phone
To get a good price for the phone, you certainly do not want to present it looking unkempt. After clearing out the data and taking out the memory cards, take some time to thoroughly clean the phone’s cover so that it looks as new as possible.
Remove the protective screen and casing, and get the dirt out from underneath. Further, put it in a casing and if possible, include the stock accessories and extras that originally came with it.