Smartphones popularity has been rising over the years and receiving significant upgrades as each year progresses. While the specifications are better and better, on the other hand, the size of the peripherals is going down, and fast. That not only pushes the technology forward but makes smartphones and tablets stay relevant for at least a year or two more. So, you’ve had a smart device in your possession for a year or two.
It served you well, but it just doesn’t cut it anymore for the type of service you need. Your eye caught a brand new model in the store, and you just can’t seem to forget about it. With this in mind, why wouldn’t you sell your old one, add a little of your own money, and get yourself an early present? We’re going to show you how to prepare your mobile phone or a tablet before selling it:
Backup all your data and contacts
Before you go ahead and delete everything to make sure the phone is spotless, you might want to save the data dear to you. While backup is mostly used as a failsafe option in case of a worst-case scenario, it’ll come useful in our case. We’re talking about contacts and/or those spicy messages you sent to your significant other on those cold nights. You might wanna go back and reignite the passion a few years down the road, so you realize how essential this is. Although some phones have a built-in backup option, in our experience apps from Google Play/iTunes store/Windows Store do the job better.
All you have to do is go ahead and choose the app that fits your purposes best, and the fun starts right away. The process is pretty straightforward, you’ll get to choose which data is you would like to keep, and the app will create a separate file. Obviously, when you receive your new phone, download the app again, the data can be imported with a touch of a finger.
Log out of important accounts, and delete personal information
The other option is cloud backup, which is a modern way of keeping data safe and secure. Google will automatically save your contacts and other information if you’re logged in to your account on the phone. That’s another way of taking the responsibility off your shoulders because no one really thinks about it until a disaster happens. Now, you’re smart, and obviously haven’t lost your phone, so the options are there. Services like Dropbox for both Android and iOS are really popular and work the best.
Apple users have the option of iCloud storage saving, but whichever service you decide on, you won’t have to worry about your files getting lost. The photos of you, your family or a dog will be safe whatever happens, so you can sleep tight. With that being safe, to prevent the next user from accessing your private things, you need to log off from all the services you used. Don’t forget about Facebook, Instagram, or other social media, we’re getting uneasy thinking how in the wrong hands, this can wreak havoc on your life.
Make data recovery really hard, or impossible.
We know you might think a factory reset is the next logical step, but hold on a second. You might’ve heard of some manufacturers buying random phones from service like eBay. What they discovered will certainly shock you – they managed to scrap really personal and important data from those! Even though owners were sure the data is long gone, and cannot be recovered, the reality is harsh.
What you might not know is, when you delete the data or do a factory reset, the system will actually delete an address that leads to said data. That should be just enough, but if anyone decides to use an app or a program that can dig deeper, they might find your data again. Those apps might not be cheap, and you might think no one is really gonna try the recovery process. We’d advise you not to test your luck, and play it safe.
Encrypt your data
In order to make your data hard or nearly impossible to get, you need to encrypt it. Do not be scared, you don’t actually need any technical knowledge. Just follow a few easy-to-do steps, and today you’re in great hands. We’ll go over all operating systems to help you prepare your mobile phone or a tablet before selling it.
iOS: Sooner or later you would probably want to encrypt the data for your own safety, regardless if you plan to sell. Apple users that have devices with iOS 5 and later have the encryption by default. Now, to take advantage of that, you’ll have to set a passcode for unlocking, and you’re good to go. A good thing about this, when you do a factory reset, the encryption key will be overwritten. New data will take its place, so it’s extremely hard to recover, thus keeping your files from prying eyes.
Android: Android 5.0 and later has a built-in protection against thieves. You might have heard of it, named factory reset protection (FRP). This feature will make it impossible for other people to use it, which is important to realize. They will need your Google account username and password to log in. You’ll have to disable this protection before selling and remove your Google account. Go to Settings > Users and Accounts, tap on your account and then choose to remove. Android 6.0 and later have an encryption feature by default, to make things harder for thieves.
Windows Phone: Users of Windows Phone are growing thinner because of lack of apps supporting the system. The interest has shifted to the two rivals, and what you’ll read next will make you realize why. The encryption feature is available to business customers only, making it even less of a great choice. Regardless of that, you can still keep your data safe. The best way would be to load a dummy data after a factory reset, which will render it unusable. In the end, to make it possible for the buyer to use your phone, go to account.microsoft.com/devices, and remove your phone from the list.
We’ve come to the end of our journey to prepare your mobile phone or a tablet before selling it. With all security steps already taken, you’re ready to do a factory reset. The choice is yours now, either do it through the Settings menu or restart your phone and go from there. You’ll have to press a certain combination of physical keys when it’s booting. For your specific model of the phone, the combination is different, and you’ll have to take a look. That’ll get you into a special menu where you can hard (factory) reset your phone.
It promises to delete all the data, but no method is 100% efficient. You won’t lose data from the SD card, of course. We have to remind you to remove the microSD card inside before selling your phone or a tablet! You will render all the security measures you’ve taken useless and compromise your data.