What the Tech? Protect your information when selling your phone
Here's a few things you need to do before getting rid of your old phone.
So you're thinking of getting the new iPhone 8. Of course, you are. It's a safe bet to say that everyone who uses an iPhone has at least thought about upgrading to the 8 or 8-plus. Android users also will think about upgrading to the next new phone such as Google's Pixel 2.
Heck, we might all be thinking of upgrading to the next phone all the time. Even when it's months away. Newer is always better right?
If you're going to upgrade you have to decide what to do with your current phone which we covered previously. Now, let's get down to some technical stuff: if you aren't careful you could hand over every piece of personal information on your phone to the next owner. That's pictures, e-mails, contacts and if you've got credit cards on your phone those could fall into the wrong hands as well.
To prevent this from happening to you, there are a few steps that require about 5 minutes that you can do yourself.
But first, and this is important: backup your phone. Plug it into your computer, go to iTunes (for iPhones) and back it up. The backup may actually start the moment your computer recognizes you've connected your phone. Android devices will back things up to the Google cloud but you can also connect it to your computer and download all of your photos and contacts.
On iPhones, you need to do a reset and delete everything on your phone. Go to settings and select 'general'. At the very bottom of the screen, you'll see an option to 'reset'. You then need to 'erase all content and settings'. This will wipe your phone clean as if it's never been used. The screen will ask for your passcode before you go further. This cannot be reversed so again, back up your phone before going forward.
That's all you need to do to reset an iPhone. Apple makes that simple.
On Android devices, you also need to go to settings and scroll down to "Backup and Reset". Google makes the steps pretty easy too, maybe even easier than Apple. You should see that you've already given the phone to backup your data automatically.
At the bottom of this page, you'll see "Factory data reset". Follow those instructions. Again, this cannot be reversed.
With Android devices, you have another step to make certain your information stays with you. All of your contacts, photos and other documents are stored on Sim cards. Most phones have two which can be found in small pull-out drawers. Look for a tiny hole next to a ridge on the side of the phone. You can use a paper clip (some phones have sim pins included in the original box). Insert the pin and the drawer should slide out. Remove the small sim cards and put them in a safe place. You'll want to use them in your next phone.
Protecting your information is easy to do yet too many people either forget or don't know. If you're trading in a phone at your carrier, those employees will take care of that for you, but that isn't guaranteed. There have been several incidents where phones were not erased and reset and someone later saw their photos.
These steps are easy and take only a few minutes.