ALBANY, NY -- Dumping the data on
your old phone is key to protecting your information from ending up in the
wrong hands, and it only takes a few clicks on your old phone.
On many phones, the pictures
you're saving and all the information you're storing ends up on a tiny chip
known as the SD card inside of your phone.
"How easy is it to get
information off of that card?" asked NEWS10 ABC's Trishna Begam.
"It's trivial, it's trivial. You
just insert it into a phone. There are chip reading devices; there are a
variety of ways you can read all of that information," replied Sanjay Goel, the
director of research at the New York State Center for Information Forensics.
Goel said most phones have an SD
card you can remove, but iPhone users have built in memory.
"The card can be changed. You can
take the same card put it into a different phone. That's not the case with an
iPhone. The data has to be recopied onto your next device," he explained.
Either way, he says if you're
ditching your old phone for a new one you should protect your pictures and all
your personal information either by using the same card in your new phone or
swiping it clean.
"Honestly, people don't even
think about it. They are so excited about the new phone they just dump their
old phone and walk away," Goel added.
This leaves your personal
pictures up for grabs for anyone. The following steps will guide you
through deleting information on an old phone or card.
For iPhone Users:
Step 1: Click on your settings
Step 2: Tap the General tab
Step 3: Scroll down to reset and
Step 4: Choose "Erase All Content
Step 5: It will ask you for your
passcode, and prompt you to confirm
"It will basically wipe all
of your data," Goel explained.
Resetting your phone also turns
off iCloud for you.
For Android and other
Step 1: Find settings
Step 2: Tap Storage
Step 3: Choose format SD card
Step 4: Confirm by selecting yes
This will clear your SD card, but
you'll also want to erase data on your phone because information may be saved
on both. You can find those options in Settings under the about section.
There will be an option to reset phone.
If your phone model is slightly
different the best approach is to Google the model and follow the step by step
how to guide posted on your providers website. Erasing your pictures and other
data ensures no one else will have access to it on an old device or SD card.
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