Why do you need to clean up your Android phone or tablet - I hear you ask? In my experience, there are usually two possible reasons. You are selling / discarding the device and you don't want others to have access to your personal data on your phone - Or you have a problem with the device.
The problem could be technical in the operating system or, as discussed in detail on this site, you may have spy software on your device and want to get rid of it! Factory reset is foolproof when you remove the monitoring software.
But let's say you are simply selling your phone or tablet - For the purpose of this article.
It has become quite common these days to "trade" or sell our electrical appliances whenever new "toys" come onto the market. You know each other - Queuing or counting the days for the new phone X yps967 release.
The problem I want to point out is not the fact that you are too involved in consumerism (already!), But that most people don't stop to think about their personal data on the mobile or device they are selling or throwing away.
Think for a moment about all the cool stuff you have on your phone - Those cute photos, love texts…. you have understood. But wait, that's not the problem either, in fact it could be much worse.
How many different accounts have been linked to your device in some way? Synchronized with Google? And what about Facebook, Twitter and all the others? Have you saved your passwords - Your bank details - Amazon? Can you see how the picture gets darker and darker?
You should never put your digital privacy at risk with negligence, especially since invading someone's privacy is even easier today than it has ever been. Literally leave your fate in someone else's hands if you have left traces of your personal information when you sell your phone.
Your emails, text messages, personal photos, contacts; all of this and much more is freely accessible for people trying to invade your privacy.
That said, don't worry, if you are really considering selling your Android device, we are here to give you some essential tips and guidelines you can follow to clean up your device and safeguard your privacy.
While this might seem like a no - Brainer, it still needs to be explained. Of course you do not want to give anyone unsolicited access to personal data and / or sensitive information; however this does not mean that you should make yourself uncomfortable by denying yourself access. In the past, the data backup process may have been tedious and tedious, thankfully it isn't today.
There are some free and paid backup tools, which are fully compatible with Android, which make this process a breeze. Here are just a few:
Titanium Backup is an app that has been around for more than a couple of years and has earned a very good reputation during that time. Titanium Backup offers a wide and complete range of options and is certainly one of the most advanced backup programs in the Google Play Store.
Conversely, if you are looking for an application that is much more accessible and easier to use, then App Backup & Restore may be just what you are looking for. This app does exactly what it says; gives you the ability to backup applications. However, this easy usability sacrifices the ability to backup data as well.
Helium sits in the middle of the choice range, it is fairly easy to use while still having an adequate range of features.
The main reason for this backup is to make sure you still have access to everything on your phone - Since we're about to clean it up. Next step….
A no brainer, but you'd be amazed how many people forget they even have an SD card!
When selling the phone the only item that should be in it is the battery, unless some special conditions have been specified with the buyer.
First let's try to explain the terminology a bit. The phone's SIM card is where you can find the information about your subscription and the telephone company; in some cases you can even find things like pictures and contacts.
The SD card is simply the extra storage that plugs into your phone (if you have an SD card then you should already know that).
You will probably need your SIM card when you buy your next cell phone, so make sure you remove it before you sell it (and even if you don't mind, you shouldn't sell a phone with a used SIM).
Likewise, the average buyer doesn't expect to get a SIM card along with the phone they're buying, so get it out.
You should remove any SD cards unless you have agreed to include them in the deal. If it's staying, you need to clean it up. Remember that you can clean it completely without actually pulling it out. Simply go to: Settings; Archive: Format SD.
I prefer to remove both the SIM and any SD cards - Make no mistake and keep things simple. The next step is bit cleaning!
Sometimes referred to as Factory Reset or Hardset - This step is probably the most important - Removing internal data and resetting your phone. This involves deleting your personal data, application settings and internet traffic, searches, saved login information, and much more.
This does exactly what it suggests - It restores the device to the state it was in before it left the factory (before you started customizing it with all your stuff!).
Just think about how many social networks or online accounts you have connected to the phone; now think about what could happen if you sell the phone to someone with all the information it contains scary right?
Restoring your device to factory settings is not only the easiest way to clear everything on your phone, it's also one of the most effective ways.
It is also a surefire way to eliminate spy software - Check out my Spy Software Guide - With tons of detailed information.
After resetting your device, restart it as if it were brand new. This option is usually found in Settings; Backup and restore; Factory data reset. However, this may vary slightly between Android devices. You know how much to move random menu items - Just to keep us on our toes!
That's really all there is to it - You see, it's not that hard after all. To stay safe you should always double check your device after resetting it, just to make sure that all personal data and sensitive information has truly been erased.
Once you are 100 percent sure your device is clean, you can give it away or sell it without having to worry about a thing anymore.
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