Whenever you are changing your phone, it is very important for you to ensure that you don’t leave sensitive data on that old phone while you are passing it off to a new buyer or vendor. You may think that it is an easy task for you to delete data off your smartphone but if you don’t do this properly, criminals can still be able to extract it. Here are what you need to do in order to completely get rid of your personal data from your smartphone.
Why factory resets may not work?
There is a conventional misconception that factory resets have the ability to fix this problem. Factory resets are good for many purposes like phone maintenance, fixing bugs, getting rid of some data, just to mention a few. However, the in-built factory reset options of many devices will not completely get rid of your data.
In fact, a research conducted by some experts at the Cambridge University revealed that the factory reset of Android phones failed to eliminate account tokens from some service providers like Facebook, WhatsApp and Google in about 80% of cases studied. It was also discovered that at times, a factory reset may not remove the portion of the phone storing videos as well as pictures and some of the devices affected are the HTC One, Motorola Razr I, HTC Sensation XE, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S Plus, just to mention a few.
Regrettably, if you choose to manually delete old messages and photos, it may not really fix the problem. This is due to the fact that smart devices make use of flash memory which may be very difficult to completely eliminate because they tend to balance data across memory blocks instead of storing them in one point. In order to completely wipe your phone of personal information, this is what you need to do.
Eliminating data from your smartphone
The first step you need to take is to back up all your data as well as contacts. You should then remove your SIM card and other external storage such a microSD card. Use your PII to log out of services such as social media, email, etc., and ensure that you clear all data caches if possible. You should then carry out a distinct data wipe and encryption on the microSD if you don’t want to use it on the new device. Do not forget to save the serial number of the device.
If you are using an Apple or Android device, you should unpair devices using your data, such as Apple Watch, and render tools like “Find My iPhone” inoperative. Then, sign out of all apps including social media apps. Open the settings of your iPhone to get rid of every content as well as setting. If you are using an Android device, carry out a factory reset. Finally, you need to encrypt your data before wiping your phone. The encryption of your data will further protect your data if an advanced hacker gets access to your phone.
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