How to wipe your iPhone or Android phone before parting with it

The pandemic has brought about a massive refocus on clearing clutter around the house. That old clutter includes old computers, discarded drives and especially old phones.

Don’t dare toss ’em out, donate or sell any of your personal tech before you wipe it clean by destroying all your personal data. Deleting isn’t good enough – you’ve got to obliterate it.

What hackers can see on your old devices

If you don’t, someone a lot less well-intended than a security researcher who bought up 80 some-odd old tech devices to see what personal information was left exposed. What Josh Franz found according to his account on his blog can create havoc in anyone’s life. Check this out.

Personal Data left behind on hand me down devices

  • 611 email addresses
  • 50 dates of birth
  • 41 social security numbers
  • 19 credit cards (most where photos showing front and back with every detail)
  • 6 driver’s licenses
  • 2 passport numbers

Golden Rule: Destroy data, don’t just delete.

How to wipe your data on an iPhone or iPad

  1. Unpair any Apple Watch
  2. Back up your device
  3. Sign out of iCloud, iTunes and the App Store by going to Settings  >  click your name  > tap Sign Out at bottom  >  You will need to enter your Apple ID and password and tap Turn Off.
  4. Go back to home screen and tap Settings  >  General  >  Reset  >  Erase All Content and Settings

Apple’s guide on what to do before you sell, give away, or trade in your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.



How to wipe your Android device

  1. First, make sure you backup.  To backup and Android device go to Settings  >  System  >  tap Backup  >  when turned On it backs up your data to Google Drive.
  2. Then remove Factory Reset Protection (FRP) if enabled.  If FRP is left enabled the next user will need your username and password to provision your old device.  Go to Settings  >  Accounts  >  tap your account email  > About device/phone  >  Remove Account
  3. Go to Settings  >  System  >  Reset Options  >  tap Erase all data (factory reset)  >  tap Reset phone  >  Erase everything
  4. Once done, logon to your Google account to remove the device.  Look for the phone you are gettinf rid of and remove it from Recently Used Devices section in your Google account.

It’s important that you follow these steps before selling or getting rid of your device.  If you don’t wipe and only delete the data, your personal information.

More ways to take back your privacy:

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