How to Securely Delete Your Data When Selling or Giving Away Your Devices

Since the technology around smartphones and other gadgets are improving in a fast pace, many people will tend to replace their devices as often as once a year. This is because smartphone companies are releasing new devices every year, which are the improvement of the previous year’s devices. As the users of smartphones and other gadgets, many people will often have no other choice than to replace their gadgets often.

If you are in a situation where you need to sell or give away your device because you want to upgrade to a better device, be sure to keep your privacy protected when you do that. You need to delete your device data first before selling it so that the new user will not be able to use your private information in any way.

Also, though you might have deleted your device data before selling it, some parts of the data might still remain in the device which can be recovered using certain apps or software. Thus, you need to ensure that all data is completely wiped out from your device. Here are some tips to securely delete your data when selling or giving away your devices:

1. Reset Your Device to Factory Setting

Before giving away or selling your device to another person, you should reset your device to the factory setting first. This is something that you need to do in order to remove all traces of your privacy in your device. By resetting it to the factory setting, you will delete all apps that you have used, and all files stored in it as well as restore it to the device’s default setting. You can even flash your device to ensure that it becomes a completely new device for the new user. Another good piece of advice would be to migrate all your settings and data to the new device before resetting it to the factory setting.

2. Use Good File Shredder App to Delete Your Files Permanently

If you are selling your laptop/computer with an external or internal storage in it, don’t forget to delete any important files that you store locally using a good file shredder app or software so that it can’t be recovered again later. By using the file shredder app, you will be able to delete your files from the storage drive completely. Even the traces of the files won’t be found when the new user is trying to recover your deleted files using file recovery software.

3. Make Sure to Remove All External Drives and SIM Cards

It is suggested that you don’t sell or giveaway your device with the external drives or SIM cards attached on it. This is especially true if you use those drives to store your important files. Sometimes, people might forget about removing the external drives such as USB drives and microSD card before selling their device. This can be risky for their privacy. So, if you want to protect your privacy, you should remove all external drives and SIM cards that are attached to the device before giving it away to the new user.

4. Format Your Drive Thoroughly with Full Format

A quick format on your storage drive might be able to delete all files that are stored in it in just a few seconds, but it is not a thorough file cleaning method. If you want to delete all the files that you have stored in your drive, you need to do a thorough format for it. Better still, using the file shredder software, you can perform the secure formatting that delete all files securely in your storage drive. In this way, you don’t need to shred the files one by one or manually in order to remove it from your drive. Most professional and good file shredder apps have this feature included.

5. Ensure That All Links to Your Cloud Accounts are Removed

If your drive or device is connected with various cloud accounts that you have, such as the accounts for cloud storage, email service, online communication, and so on, you need to ensure that the device is disconnected from those accounts. Sign out from all of your online accounts before selling or giving away your device and ensure that no trace of your username and password is stored in your device. This will minimize the instance when the new user can accidentally access your online accounts.

Those are the tips to delete your data securely when selling or giving away your devices. Whether you plan to replace your laptop or smartphone, these tips can help you to ensure that your privacy remains secure and protected.