Your mobile phone has served you well, but now the time has come for a new device. Before you dispose of your old mobile phone, take some time to make sure your old information doesn't fall into new hands.
Wiping the Slate Clean
Each make and model of mobile phone will require different steps to clear its memory of your life's details. But the basics are pretty similar across styles.
Move apps to your new phone, importing the existing data so you don't lose anything. Then, delete all apps, texts, notes, pictures, videos, contact information and any other personal data from the device. Remember to go deep into the nooks and crannies of all those personal settings levels to extract your data from every recess of your mobile phone.
If applicable and possible, remove both the SIM card and the memory card from your mobile phone.
Perform a wipe procedure to remove all vestiges of your history. While this process differs considerably across models, each type of modern mobile phone offers some method to wipe the slate clean, whether it's through the security setting, general setting or other method of performing a master reset. Some mobile phones allow a remote wipe, which is extremely convenient should your device unexpectedly fall into the hands of a stranger.
If you're not quite sure how to perform a wipe on your own device, visit the website of your mobile phone's manufacturer to obtain specific directions.
Recycle or Donate Your Mobile Phone
Since mobile phones are considered to be hazardous waste in a growing number of communities, don't simply toss your wiped device into the trash. Look online for reputable recycling services or for organizations asking for donations of used phones. Consumers concerned with the environment might want to check whether the collecting organization is certified to meet the e-Stewards standard, a pledge promising not to ship non-working mobile phone units to developing nations. This standard was devised in order to cut down the amount of hazardous e-waste dumping that routinely takes place in third world countries.
Many well-known tech retailers and big box stores have in-store bins designated for the collection of used mobile phones. Simply drop your old device into a bin and the donation organization takes care of the rest, while keeping e-waste out of landfills.
Your Old Mobile Might Be Worth Money!
Remember, you don't have to just give away your old tech. Believe it or not, your ancient flip phone could yet fetch you a small return. If your old mobile phone is still in decent operating condition, or even if it's not operating and/or has sustained some damage, it might still be worth a few bucks. Some companies offer compensation via PayPal, gift cards or other forms of credit. Compare offers with various mobile phone trade-in sites online to see which deal will yield you the greatest trade.
Wherever your old phone ends up, relax with the assured peace that comes from knowing that your data remains right where it belongs: solely with you.