Online Security

Upgrading Your Phone? 4 Things You Should Do First

If you are thinking about upgrading to a new phone, make sure you remove your personal information before you trade it in. Your phone could have a lot of sensitive, personal

information on it – like your passwords, account numbers, emails, text messages, photos, and videos. If that information ends up in the wrong hands, someone could use it to open accounts in your name, spend your money, hack into your email, or take over your social media accounts.

Here is how to remove your personal information before you trade in your phone.

Step 1. Back It Up

If you are going to trade in your phone, the first thing you should do is back up your data.

Step 2. Remove SIM and SD Cards

If your phone has a SIM card, it may store your personal information. Remove the SIM card. If you keep the same phone number, you may be able to transfer your SIM card to your new phone. But if you do not reuse the SIM card, destroy it. If your phone has an SD memory card for storage, remove it.

Step 3. Erase Your Personal Information

Remove information from your old phone by restoring or resetting it. After you restore or reset your phone, confirm that you erased things like your contacts, text messages, photos, videos, and browsing history.


Step 4. Disconnect Your Phone From Accounts and Devices

Before you turn in the phone, double-check that it is no longer connected to your online accounts or other devices.

  • If your phone is paired to another device, like a watch or a vehicle, make sure it is unpaired.
  • Make sure that passwords for your accounts or Wi-Fi are no longer saved on the phone.
  • If you use 2-step verification or multi-factor authentication to log in to any accounts, remove your phone from the list of trusted devices.
  • If you are not keeping your phone number, change the number on file with any accounts or services that may be using it to identify you.



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