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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 February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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