If your cell phone isn’t the “latest and greatest”, you are likely thinking about replacing it. If it is the “latest and greatest” you are probably wondering how to dispose of the old phone. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you have several choices.
The first thing you want to do is to remove all private and sensitive information that is on the phone. Old phone numbers, passwords, account numbers, voicemails, and text messages. It is important not to let anyone have access to your information.
Some devices have a “restore factory settings” option. If you do use this option, be sure that YOU have all the information, passwords, texts, and pictures that you want to keep before resetting your phone. Your owner’s manual or online owner’s manual may have detailed instructions for resetting your phone. Follow them carefully. You will also want to remove any apps that you downloaded to your phone. They too can contain sensitive information.
You may also need to remove or clear the SIM or SD card in your phone. Your provider may help you transfer the SIM card or the information on the card to your new phone. SD cards can hold pictures or other information that you would like to protect. You may need to remove both cards physically from the phone to be sure your information is protected.
Be sure to double check that you have, in fact, removed the date after your reset. Look at your
- phone book
- logs for both dialed and received calls
- sent and received emails and text messages
- downloads and other folders
- search histories
- personal photos
Now that your phone is “clean”. You have several options for disposal. The phone can be recycled or donated to a charitable group. Check with your phone carrier for options available locally.