Are you getting a new mobile or tablet for Christmas?

Are you getting a new mobile or tablet for Christmas?

For many people, Christmas is the time of year when they are given, or buy, a shiny new smartphone or tablet. Whilst there are many cupboard draws out there with old devices slowly gathering dust, many of us generously pass our old devices onto relatives, friends or offspring.

However before handing it over, it is important to back up critical information and then wipe it. Use the “factory data reset” on an Android or the “reset” function on an iPhone or iPad. These functions will wipe all data, and any apps that you have added, from the device – returning it to its “out-of-the-box” unregistered state.

The lucky new owners of these devices will probably like to click on the icons (especially children), you don’t want them making a mistake and suddenly altering your financial status, for example! If you reset to the factory defaults this will let them set the device up for themselves.

A lot of SIM cards can keep a copy of your contact list, so don’t forget to remove that as well!

And….with Android devices, don’t forget to remove the SD card. The SD card may have stored data and the factory reset doesn’t touch it. Some users configure their apps to save to the SD card first; you should remove the card and replace it with a new one – and then you’ll have a backup copy of the stored data.

For those of you reading this with corporate responsibility for mobile devices, all of the above is good practice in the business world too when decommissioning those smartphones and tablets.

And a note about those new devices, make sure you replace any default passwords with more complex ones and install anti-virus as well.