Do you need to sell your smartphone to buy a new one? Well, you’re probably wondering what to do before selling a smartphone, in this article we will explain the operations to be performed that include backup, deletion of data and further protection of sensitive data making them unrecoverable.
So, the first thing to do is to save important data such as text messages, contacts in the phone book, reminders on the calendar, images, music and videos.
In the case of the latter they can be easily exported on a microSD card of the phone, or, through the USB cable, on a computer or even on one of the many online cloud storage services like Google Drive, One Drive and Dropbox, to name some.
However, some data such as text messages are more difficult to export, as well as contacts that could be saved on the SIM, but if these are combined with other information, you could find yourself in a fragmentation of a contact in multiple contacts.
For these reasons the best thing to do is a data backup, a fairly simple procedure that varies depending on the type of operating system you have on your smartphone.
1. Make a backup of the data
When you make a backup you want to secure the data that are on the device by saving them elsewhere, it is an operation that can be done directly from the smartphone or using some apps specially dedicated to this operation.
To make a quick backup with an Android smartphone just take advantage of the standard options of the device, which allow you to synchronize data with your Google account.
This is a very simple procedure: go to Settings> Backup and Restore.
Reading the instructions on the screen you will find that data, wifi passwords, preferences and apps will be automatically saved online and will be available again from your Google account.
To make a backup of contacts and SMS you can use or the management applications of your device, or, some specific applications for these two operations.
In addition, by connecting the smartphone with a USB cable directly to the PC it will be possible to save all the folders.
To backup with the iPhone there are two possibilities, the first is to take advantage of iCloud and the second is to do it with the iTunes program.
To backup with iCloud you need to connect the device to a wifi network, go to Settings> [your name] and to iCloud> iCloud Backup. If you are using iOS 10.2 or earlier, verify that the iCloud backup option is enabled. Finally, tap on Run Backup now.
If you want to back up with iTunes, connect the device to your computer, give permission if you follow the instructions on the screen, then choose your iPhone.
In case you want to save health data and activity of the iOS device, you need to do the backup encoding, then choose the Backup encoding [device] box and create a password → if you do not need the encoding simply click on Back up now.
To verify the success of the backup and make sure it has been completed correctly, check the iTunes summary screen that will show the date and time of the last backup.
Remove the microSD
Smartphones offer the possibility to expand the memory on which to store files thanks to microSD, before selling a smartphone is good to remember to remove it.
If instead you want to sell the device with the whole microSD, you have to make sure to format it at least 3 times before selling it in order to strengthen the privacy, even if it is usually not recommended to sell it.
Factory data reset
After having performed all the previous operations, it goes to the factory data reset, also called “formatting” that allows you to delete all the data on your smartphone and bring it back to the initial situation.
To start the factory data reset on Android go to Settings App in Settings, then System and Restore. If so, enter the pin, password or pattern.
Tap on Factory data reset and then on Reset phone, choose Delete all to delete all the data in the internal memory of the device and then start the procedure which may take a few minutes.
To remove all personal data and restore the factory data on the iPhone, you must first exit iCloud, iTunes Store and App Store, turning off all access to various accounts.
Then go to Settings> General> Reset> Reset content and settings.
If the Find My iPhone function is activated, you may be asked for the Apple ID and password, enter all the required information and click on Reset [device].
If you switch to a new non-Apple smartphone, also cancel iMessage registration; in any case, to get all the information necessary to perform all that is necessary to raise the level of privacy, contact an operator.
Make data irrecoverable
The only reset of the smartphone does not ensure the permanent elimination of the data previously saved in memory, which works similarly to that of a computer hard drive.
When we delete data from a hard disk they are usually not deleted permanently but only moved to a sector of the disk that can be overwritten, similarly the same thing happens on the smartphone.
So it is important to be careful before selling a smartphone and take action so that the data is truly unrecoverable.
For Android you can use the iShredder application, it is a very effective free solution that erases and overwrites the memory of the device using military-level security algorithms, which means that it will be impossible to access the information on the device before the formatting.
In the free version there are 5 methods of data deletion, these are five algorithms recognized at the military level, therefore of certain effectiveness, if you have time the advice is to launch them all, otherwise, use the last two methods proposed by the program that they rely on three cycles of overwriting each.
Only after having performed all the steps described in this article you can finally sell your smartphone in total security.