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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released an article with tips on how to protect personal information before trading in a mobile phone for a newer model. FTC recommends the following four steps to safeguard these devices:

  • Back up data.
  • Remove SIM and SD cards.
  • Erase personal information.
  • Verify deletion of personal information.

You can view the full article here or you can read below.

According to the FTC, these are the steps to take to ensure the safety of your data.

Step 1. Back It Up

If you’re going to trade in your phone, the first thing you should do is back up your data.

Step 2. Remove SIM and SD Cards

If your phone has a SIM card, it may store your personal information. Remove the SIM card. If you’ll keep the same phone number, you may be able to transfer your SIM card to your new phone. But if you don’t re-use the SIM card, destroy it. If your phone has an SD memory card for storage, remove it.

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Step 3. Erase Your Personal Information

Remove information from your old phone by restoring or resetting it. After you restore, or reset your phone, confirm that you erased things like your contacts, text messages, photos, videos, and browsing history.

Step 4. Disconnect Your Phone From Accounts and Devices

Before you turn in the phone, double check that it’s no longer connected to your online accounts or other devices.

If your phone was paired to another device, like a watch or a vehicle, make sure it’s un-paired.
Make sure that passwords for your accounts or Wi-Fi are no longer saved on the phone.
If you use 2-step verification or multi-factor authentication to log in to any accounts, remove your phone from the list of trusted devices.
If you’re not keeping your phone number, change the number on file with any accounts or services that may be using it to identify you.