Smartphones, laptops and tablets all have a fairly limited lifespan. When a newer and more fully-featured model comes out, many of us look to upgrade. Selling the old device on is a good way to finance this. It’ll also ensure that it lives as long a lifespan as possible, which helps to minimise the impact on the environment.
But doing so comes with a little bit of risk, much of it associated with data-protection. Your devices are packed with sensitive data, which can be retrieved by the person you sell the device to. To safeguard your privacy, it’s best to take a few steps before you pass your device on.
Wiping Your Data
Before you sell, you should make sure that all of your personal data is entirely erased from the local storage. This can usually be done via a hidden option on the phone. The exact location of this function varies from phone to phone. If you’re looking to sell your iPhone XR, you’ll find the relevant option under settings. If you’ve moving to a new iPhone, then you can back up your data to the iCloud and then transfer it to your new phone. If you’re using an Android phone, then a similar process is available (and advisable).
If you’re using your phone to access your banking, social media or other facilities, you might find that you have difficulty logging back in after your stuff has been transferred over. The same applies to any smart controls you might have for thermostats and other smart devices in the house. This goes especially if you have passwords stored to the device.
What if I’m buying?
If you’re picking up a second-hand phone, laptop or tablet for yourself, then it’s worth first considering whether it is still being supported. This will be critical if you run into problems further down the line. This doesn’t mean that you have to buy something that’s close to brand new (and correspondingly more expensive); you might ideally strike a happy medium between affordability and age. Turn on the automatic software updates to ensure that your data stands the best possible chance of staying secure.
If you’ve received a second-hand device, then it’s usually a good idea to make sure that it’s been reset to factory settings before you continue to use it. This will ensure that any malicious software still lingering on the device has been thoroughly wiped.