How to Protect Personal Data Before Selling Old Phone
Are you thinking about buying a new phone? Well, trading your old one and adding some extra cash for a new telephone would be the most reasonable activity. However, before you sell your phone, you should make sure that the buyer can't access your personal data. Sure, you think that wiping the phone's storage would put an end to this debate, but no. Data can be extracted from a device even if the owner deleted everything or did a factory reset. So is there any workaround? Yes, but it takes more than a simple memory wipe to ensure you are safe.

Back up your data

For iPhone

Before you erase all of your phone's data, make sure that you first take a backup of your data, so that you can restore it to your new iPhone. You can back up to iCloud or to your local machine (laptop, computer) with iTunes, or you can do both to be extra safe. Back up via iCloud: iCloud automatically backups most of your data on your iPhone on a daily basis. But you should manually take a backup one last time before you delete all of your personal data. Go to settings then click on your name then iCloud and iCloud Backup and tap on Back Up Now. This will take a few minutes and will vary depending on when your iPhone was last backed up to iCloud. Back up using iTunes: Connect your smartphone to the computer that you normally sync it with. Then open iTunes and select your iPhone under Devices in the left-handed navigation panel. Right-click the device and select Back Up.

For Android

This is a must-do when you are selling or giving away your old Android phone, you must first create a backup of all your important data on it. This includes all your photos, videos, documents, messages, contacts, app data, etc. You should use Google Photos for backing up your photos and videos. This is much easier than manually transferring all your photos and videos to a PC or some external drive. For your contacts, they should be automatically synced to Google Contacts but still double-check this one. For any other important documents stored on your phone transfer them to Google Drive or any other cloud service (Dropbox,..). This way you will be able to access them from any other device. Chat history is a thing most people forget to back up. If you use WhatsApp, you should head into the app's settings and create a backup and upload it to some cloud service (Google Drive). Otherwise, you won't be able to transfer your WhatsApp conversation history from your old phone to the new one. For backing up your SMS history, you can use the SMS Backup & Restore app. In most scenarios your app data won't be backed up, so make sure to open the apps which contain important data and use its built-in backup option, if there are any. Also, make sure to backup any two-factor authentication app that you have on your old Android phone.

Get rid of SIM and SD cards

It doesn't matter if you have an Android or Ios device. SIM and SD cards must go away before reaching its new owner. As you know, SIM cards are used to store personal information like phone numbers, email addresses, and names. You wouldn't want that kind of information to fall in the wrong hands. So, before trading in your phone, make sure you yank the SIM card out of its slot.

Encrypt your data

For iPhone

If you have an iPhone, you shouldn't worry because you don't need to do anything to encrypt your data since the phone does this by default. Unfortunately, things are not the same when it comes to Android devices.

For Android

To ensure all of your data is gone, you will need to do more than just a factory reset. You will need to encrypt your data. This means that if someone wants to see any data on your phone, they will need your password to decrypt it. Phones running Android 6.0 and higher should already have encryption active. To encrypt your data, go to Settings -> Security -> Encrypt phone. You also have the option of encrypting the SD card. Only do this if you plan on handing over the SD card along with the device.

Factory Reset

For iPhone

Go to the Settings app then tap on general and scroll down to the bottom and tap on Reset and then tap on Erase All Content and Settings. You may have to enter the passcode that you have set after entering it just tap on Erase iPhone. This process will take from a few minutes to several hours based on the version of your iPhone and the amount of data you have. If you want to be even safer you can erase all the settings you had on your phone (If you have jailbroken iPhone do this). Connect iPhone to the computer and restore all settings and data by clicking the "Restore" button on iTunes.

For Android

Before performing the factory reset, first, we will disable factory reset protection. To disable Factory Reset Protection you need to remove your Google account (all of them) from your phone. Go to Setting -> Accounts & Sync -> Google -> and then select your account and remove it. Then perform a factory reset on your phone. Go to Settings -> Backup & reset -> Factory data reset and then tap Reset phone.

Where To Sell Your Phone

Good job, your phone is now ready for sale. You can sell it to your friend or family members or pass it on to somebody you know. In case you are looking for a buyer for your old phone try selling it on sites like Mobile Trade or eBay. For more information on how to sell your iPhone check out our post about that - How to sell iPhone in Australia.
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