3 Things to do before Moving to a New Phone

By on Friday, November 22, 2013

Buying a smartphone has become a very personal and empowering experience; the phone we carry reflects our image, aspirations, pass-times and social habits. So it is no wonder that each year, more than 1.6 billion new cell phones are sold, and the average American cell phone is replaced every 22 months. You probably don’t realize how much personal information is on your old device; all your old emails, text messages, contacts, GPS locations, photos, videos (the list goes on and on). None of this information should ever be allowed to end up in the hands of a complete stranger.

So, what should you do with your old phone when you get a new one? There are plenty of options these days. You can donate it, sell it, keep it as a backup or even recycle it. However, it’s extremely important to make sure all personal information is erased and inaccessible before you dispose of it.

Here are some simple steps to help you clean your phone:

1. Backup your data

Firstly you need to make sure you backup all the information (assuming you want to keep it)
Remember that in Android devices there may also be a MicroSD card that has data stored on it. I recommend you simply remove the SD card and keep it. For the data that is on the internal phone memory you can do the following:

For iPhone:

Connect it to your computer and backup the Phone > in iTunes find your device on the navigation bar and in the summary section you can run a backup.
  • If you want all the information to be visible individually on your computer so you can view and edit the files then you should “sync” the data; you can do these for individual types of files in the “Info”, “Apps”, “Music”, “Movies”, “ TV Shows”, “Podcasts”, “Books”, “Photos” categories in iTunes.

For Android:

You should synchronize your contacts, calendar etc with your Google account, and can load your device as an external drive by plugging a USB cable into your computer, from here just drag and drop the files you want to save to a folder on your computer.
  • You can also install a backup app to keep a copy of your important files.

ALSO READ: How to recover deleted SMS from iPhone and Android Devices

2. Stop Synchronization

Once you’ve saved your important data make sure you disable any automatic synchronization that you may have set up. This will avoid any information being transmitted after you have backed it up creating a gap in the data. This includes any services you may have subscribed to that link directly to your unique device.

3. Wipe the device

To wipe an iOS gadget:  

Go to Settings>>General>>Reset. Tap Erase All Content and Settings and then push the ominous red Erase button. Depending on your device this could take a few minutes or a few hours. Make sure the gadget is plugged in or has a full battery before you begin.

For Android Devices: 

For versions before Android 4.0, press the Menu key from the Home screen and select Settings/Privacy/Factory data reset. You'll get a warning screen. Scroll toward the bottom and tap "Reset phone." If you also have an SD card in the phone (and don't want to use the data in your next phone), also make sure to check the box next to "Erase SD card." For Android 4.0 or later, go to Settings and look for "Backup and reset." Tap that, and then, on the next screen, tap "Factory data reset".  You'll get a warning screen along with a list of all the accounts you are currently signed into.

Whether you have state secrets or just a few personal memories on your phone, making sure they don’t end up in the hands of strangers is the right thing to do. So take a moment and wipe your old phone before you get rid of it.

ALSO READ: How to recover deleted files from iPhone and Android Devices

About Author: Greg Boyle is Senior Global Product Marketing Manager of Consumer Mobility at Trend Micro. He is responsible for Trend Micro’s efforts to educate and secure the mobile lives of consumers.

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