How to Properly Clean Your Android Phone Before You Sell ItDuring the past few months, almost all of the smartphone companies have released new models to attract the consumer’s pocketbook. From models that require a contract to models that can be used on pre-paid plans, there is something for all of us to think about buying. If you’re replacing and selling your old Android smartphone, you need to make sure that your device has been cleaned properly.

Why is it important to make sure that your old Android smartphone is cleaned properly? In a day and age where identity theft is prolific, we need to make sure that the buyer of our old phone is not tempted to either confiscate out identifying information or use one of our online accounts without our knowledge.

Our smartphones have become hotbeds of information that is stored on the phones themselves, on memory cards, or online. Some of this personal information can contain our social security number, our date of birth, credit card information, and much more. Even passwords for online accounts can be stored, providing an unscrupulous person with access to our private data.

One of the first things you will want to do is to back up your stuff. I use Lookout as my security program, which has a built-in backup service that works automatically. I also use Google Gmail as my contact source for email and texting, and this works for me. Whatever way you choose, backing up will save your data for later use.

If your phone has a SIM card, it could hold carrier and subscription information or may also have your contacts and other personal data. The SIM card can also be used for your next phone, so you do not want the new buyer to use it. Removing the SIM card is easy; it just slides out from the back of the phone once the cover is removed.

While you have the rear cover of the phone off, also remove the external SD card from your phone. An SD card adds extra storage to your phone and you may have personal information or personal photographs stored on it. If your new phone has an SD card slot, you will be able to reuse the same card and have access to your personal stuff.

Thus far you have cleaned up your phone fairly well, but there is another step you will need to take to protect your data. Included among your applications could be logon information including your username or password[s]. What would happen if the buyer of your phone had access to your email, Facebook account, or other personal accounts?

Depending on the version of Android that your phone uses, the location of the next feature my require you to hunt around, but you want to do a factory reset of your phone. Go into Settings and look under Privacy or Backup Reset until you locate this feature. Once the factory reset has completed, all of your personal data should be gone for good and you can now sell your phone with confidence.

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CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by closari