Here at SeekingFire Consulting Inc., we love a gadget or new device as much as, if not more than, the next person. However, we’re also passionate about making the digital world a safer, more secure place and helping to protect data.
If you’re getting a new device, you’re likely excited and can’t wait to bust it out of the box and set it up. However, you should also pay some attention to your old device and make sure you take steps to protect your personal data.
Of course, you can donate, recycle, trade or sell your old device, but before you do that, you need to make sure you wipe it properly. Even if you’re planning to keep your old device in storage, we recommend wiping it. After all, you’re likely to forget about that old phone, and your old device contains mountains of personal data which you don’t want falling into the wrong hands.
Thankfully, while the process varies from device to device, the main steps are simple. Here are the headlines:
Step One: Make sure you transfer or back up the data you want to keep (this is a crucial step)
Step Two: Log out of all accounts (such as iTunes, iMessages, Gmail etc.), to be on the safe side
Step Three: Be sure to remove any SIM cards, memory cards etc.
Step Four: Perform a factory reset and erase all data (think very carefully before taking action with this step)
Those are the main steps. Of course, whether you’re running a Mac, Android phone etc., will impact the exact specifics, but the key point we want to drive home is that erasing your data from old devices is an absolutely crucial step.
Whether you’re running Apple, Android or Windows, we’ve gathered up some links to help you in the process of wiping your old device:
Windows: How to refresh, reset, or restore your PC
Mac: Erase all content and setting on Mac
Android: Find, lock or erase a lost Android device
iPhone (etc.): What to do before you sell, give away, or trade in your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
If you run into any roadblocks in wiping your old device, Google is your friend, and so is your device’s manufacturer. At SeekingFire Consulting, we can also help organizations develop a secure end-of-lifecycle process for their devices. We’re proud to work with a diverse range of clients across Western Canada and beyond. From startups to large institutions, we’re here to help.
If you’re looking for help with your organization’s information security and data privacy, please get in touch with us. We offer a no-obligation consultation. Enjoy your new device!
While we have made every effort to present accurate, unbiased and helpful information in this article, please note that it reflects the author’s opinion and is written for the purposes of general knowledge, information and discussion. This article is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be considered as advice specific to your individual data security situation. If you would like to discuss your cybersecurity needs in specific detail, please get in touch with us.