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Is Everything Off Your Old Phone?

By Valerie Priester

Published October 17, 2014

As the long lines for the new iPhone can attest, everybody loves getting the latest smartphone. But when it’s time to get rid of our old devices, what can we do to keep our personal data safe? Sometimes it’s more complicated than just deleting a few files. 

Valerie Priester (UBIT Staff) is a valuable member of UB Information Technology and has worked for UB for over 17 years, most recently as part of the IT Policy & Communication team. When not writing Web content for UBIT, she can be found rowing on Tonawanda Creek, gardening or walking her dog, Maddie.

Keep your selfies private and your contacts secure. Smartphones are a treasure trove of personal data, used for taking photos, music, reading email, managing appointments and running apps like Facebook and Instagram.  There’s even more sensitive information in your online banking and credit card apps. You don’t want that information to end up in someone else’s hands.

Resetting Your iOS Device

If you still have your old iOS device, wiping it is quick and painless. Apple provides easy instructions on how to back up your old device, and then reset it to the factory default state.

Resetting Android

Got an Android device? Resetting or wiping it isn’t good enough: on Android versions 4.4 and lower, encryption isn’t done on the hardware level, so someone with the right software could retrieve your files, even if you wiped your phone. Don’t let a stranger get your information: instead, first encrypt your device and then wipe it, as recommended by CNET.