The holiday are always a popular time to upgrade to the latest smartphones like the iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S7, so come January a lot of old devices being sold or given to friends or family. Also there is an increase this time of year with people looking to gather some extra cash after the holidays by selling old devices. I see it all the time on local for sale groups. People are always looking for phones.
The most important thing to consider when selling or trading in your old devices is to remove all personal information from the phone. Many of us keep personal information on our device such as financial information, contacts, photographs and even passwords. You want to make sure all this is removed before handing over your device.
Craig was having trouble with his phone and I had my Samsung S6. Rather than him buying a new phone, I gave him mine.
He even kept my phone case with Ruby on it!!
We had some of these issues. I completely trust Craig with any of my information but still, I wanted him to have the “new phone” experience.
U.S. Cellular came up with a great list of things to do when discontinuing use of your phone.
Back up to your cloud account. There are several steps to take when wiping your phone of personal information. A good first step is to save all contacts, photos, notes, files, and other information to a Cloud account, computer or external hard drive. After the information is backed up, delete them from your phone and empty the deleted items folder.
Remove the SIM card. Next remove your SIM card. The SIM card is the external storage for your device housed on a microSD card. It is the small, rectangular shaped card usually located near your phone battery.
Log out of services like email and social media. You want to clear out of all email and social media accounts accessed from that devices. This should clear all data, including passwords, from these apps.
Disconnect the phone from the Cloud account. Now that you have backed up your data in step one you want to disconnect from your cloud account. Otherwise, the phone’s new owner could easily access information that’s stored there.
Remove mobile payment options. These days, many people do their banking, pay their bills and take care of other financial obligations from their mobile devices. Disconnect all links, apps, and accounts that are associated with banking institutions and credit cards.
Restore the phone to factory settings and turn off all services. Whether you decide to upgrade or sell, restoring the device to its original factory settings will remove personal information. You can do this by going to the settings feature on most smartphones.
Disconnect service. Call the service provider and remove the device from your account. U.S. Cellular associates are available at 1-888-944-9400.
Unregister the device. If the phone is registered with Apple by its serial number, remove it by logging into supportprofile.apple.com with the Apple ID information.
Similarly, Androids will need to be unregistered. First, go to the Google Play store from a computer’s Web browser. Then, go to the gear icon at the top-right-hand corner of the screen, and select the Settings option. Deselect the device from the Google account under the Visibility option. This will hide select devices from appearing in the Play store when attempting to download a new app.
If you have any questions, stop by any local U.S. Cellular location if you have additional questions or need help with wiping your device. U.S. Cellular has a machine known as device solution center that can confirm all information has been removed and all accounts have been disconnected. This same device can also transfer your contacts, pictures, etc. to your new device.
It’s important to keep your personal information personal so swiping is definitely a need.