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Wipe Your Tech Devices Before Giving Them Away….

Submitted by on December 14, 2011 – 6:02 PM

As the holiday season steadily approaches, many individuals are planning to upgrade their current technology devices with the latest and greatest on the market.  For example, individuals who currently possess an older iPhone such as the 3gs or iPhone 4 are eyeing the new iPhone 4s with the Siri feature.  While android-based users have a tons of options to be excited about with the resent releases of the Nexus, RAZR and Galaxy smart phones totting the new Android 4.0 operating system titled Ice Cream sandwich.  Then you have to take into consideration other tech gadgets and devices such as tablets, e-readers, netbooks, laptops and computers.

A recent survey conducted by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) stated 49% of parents plan to give their kids a technology device this upcoming Christmas and many of these devices will be their old hand me downs.

With that said, SecurityOrb.com, an information security and privacy awareness site recommends that before you give away or throw away any of your electronic devices, make sure you wipe them clean.  A disk/memory wipe is a secure manner to remove all existing data on a hard drive and memory card so the data cannot be retrieved.

This is important when you take into consideration the types of information we store on our smart phones these days such as pictures, account information, contacts etc.

Giving a device to a kid without properly wiping it clean can lead to issues to put your personal information at risk such as theft or lost of the device.  Furthermore, it may also be costly experience if your credit information is tied into the manufacture’s app market space.  Numerous apps maybe downloaded on your dime.

The same consideration should also take place if you plan to get rid of other technology such as an old computer.  You want to wipe the hard drive before deposing of the system.  Identity theft scammers know this is a great source to obtain information to fuel their malicious activity.  Using software such as Disk Wipe can erase all disk data and prevent recovery of that data and it is free too.  The EPA also has a list of recommended locations to dispose of your electronic devices in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

Please remember, before wiping your data on an old device be sure to conduct a backup or transfer all information to the new device.  Some services allow you to backup the contents of your mobile device to a cloud for safekeeping.

Below are some tips on how to conduct a hard reset or total disk wipe on some of the more popular devices.  I urge you to review your manual or check on the manufacture’s website for a more detailed procedure.

Android phones: Steps to implementing a factory data reset can be done by going to:

Menu -> Settings -> Privacy -> Factory data reset.

BlackBerry phones: Steps to implementing a factory data reset can be done by going to:

Options -> Security Options -> General Settings -> Menu -> Wipe Handheld.

iPhones: Steps to implementing a factory data reset can be done by going to:

Settings -> General category -> Reset

 

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