Got or getting a new smartphone or tablet? Before you donate, sell or otherwise recycle your gently used device, be sure to wipe it clean and protect your data from hackers and scammers. Follow these easy steps from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC to protect your email contact list, online banking passwords and other information:
First, reset your device to the factory default
- For Apple users: Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings
- For Adroid users: Steps vary by phone and provider. Go to the Settings menu and look for the “reset phone” or “reset phone to factory default”
Second, set up the device again so you can access the App Store or Google Play Store, and download and run a secure file shredder program that will forensically wipe everything from your device.
John Jay recommends the file shredder program contained in a secure app called Wickr, available FREE for either Apple or Google devices. Once installed, access “Secure Shredder” from the Settings menu and click “Start”.
Third, reset the phone once again to the factory default, as outlined in the first step.
Fourth: remove the SIM card and all MicroSD cards to use in your new device or save as spares.
Donate your old smartphone or tablet to an organization that provides free devices to the elderly or low-income individuals, members of the US military, or victims of domestic abuse. You’ll be doing good, and getting a tax deduction, too.
HopeLine from Verizon Wireless donates used phones to victims of abuse. Since the program began in 2001, Verizon has distributed more than 123.00 phones to victims of abusive relationships. Check the HopeLine website for instructions.
Help a Soldier, Sailor or Marine stay in touch with his or her family far from home. Donate your gently used phone to Cellphones for Soldiers.
Thanks to NY State Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal for sharing this information from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with ecoXplorer.