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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Secure Phone Disposal

October 22, 2020

There is going to come a time when you will sell your phone or send it off to the electronic recycling center. Before you do that, make sure all of your private data is removed from the device. TechRepublic has a good post with suggested actions for protecting your privacy and information about you. Remove any data you want to keep prior to "nuking" your phone. Here is a summary of some of the steps you should take.

  • Unpair all devices
  • Sign out of all services
  • Delete credentials from browsers
  • Fill the phone with dummy data before encrypting
  • Deactivate your accounts
  • Encrypt your data
  • Delete your data with a factory reset
  • Remove the SIM card

It really depends if you are selling/donating the phone or just want to dispose it. If someone else is going to be using the phone, you need to make sure it is no longer registered to you and that all accounts are disassociated from it. Manufacturers are now tying your account credentials to the devices in order to cut down on theft and the ability to perform an unauthorized factory reset. If you don't disassociate your accounts, the new user will not be able configure the phone since they won't have your credentials.

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