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How To Erase Your Phone Securely Before You Sell It

How To Erase Your Phone Securely Before You Sell It

Whether you’re planning on selling your smartphone, or simply upgrading, it’s always a good idea to secure the data on your phone from being extracted. These simple steps should be mandatory when getting rid of your smartphone, but you should also take care of them on a regular basis–especially backing up your data. We are very reliant on our smartphones these days. You’d be surprised at the amount of information you could lose if you don’t follow these steps.

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Read on for some helpful tips on how to secure the data before you erase your phone.

Back Up Data

While the information on the phone may not be important to anyone else, it is certainly of value to the owner. Before selling, back up all data so it does not have to be placed into the phone all over again. Take this precaution and back up data every 90 days or so, and especially before selling. There are many different applications available to safely and securely back up all data.

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This guide from CNET will assist in finding the right app to back up data for an Android phone. CNET also provides this article as a step-by-step how-to on safely backing up all data. Once backed up and saved, data may be transferred to a new phone. Download the free iPhone Backup Extractor at this site and follow these easy step-by-step instructions. Data is kept secure and available for the user.

Encrypt Data

Always remove the SIM card from any smartphone before selling. Sometimes this step can be forgotten and the card is simply removed by the purchaser. No problems. No hassle. Owners can further protect themselves through encrypting important data.

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Dual File Manager XT, ES File Explorer File Manager, and AndroXplorer File Manager are all easily installed Android applications. You can also find step-by-step directions on how to encrypt files as well as password protecting files. Encryption applications for the iPhone can be found in the Apple store by searching for and downloading the desired file.

Get rid of the FAT

File Allocation Tables (FAT) hold a great deal of data. These are usually on the secure digital (SD) card that may or may not be with the phone. The standard amount of information an SD card can hold is 64 gigabytes. SD cards hold very large amounts of information for the phone. An iPhone holds FAT data in its multiple applications. Open Applications in iTunes and simply delete.

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When a file is no longer needed and deleted, in most cases, the file is simply written over with the new data. This tidbit of information has likely led to the unfounded rumors about permanently wiping an Android before selling. Free apps, such as Forever Gone, SHREDroid, and My File Shredder, will all permanently delete these files. Remember, when these apps are used these files are Gone, Baby, Gone.

Before selling the phone, simply remove the card and reuse in a new phone. If finished with the card and it is no longer needed, soak in salt water before discarding. The data will be permanently and irrevocably destroyed. This works for all smartphones. Once removed the data is no longer retrievable.

Factory Data Reset

This is the final step in securely erasing all user data from a phone. This step will permanently erase all stored data. On the Android 2.3 and below go to Settings, Privacy, and then Factory Reset. For Android phones that are 4.0 and above, go to Settings, Backup & Reset, and then Factory Data Reset. Should the phone be ‘hanging’ this step can also be used to completely reset the phone to factory settings, remember all data will be lost. For iPhones, you can reset factory data by going to the general menu and tapping the reset menu.

Featured photo credit: IMG_2322.jpg/rickyysanne via mrg.bz

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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