Monday, December 12, 2016

SMARTPHONES- Don’t Discard that Old Device

We almost all have smartphones. They provide convenience for many functions in your hands. In fact, modern smartphones are really handheld computers that can, send and receive emails, send and receive text messages, alert you to news headlines and weather alerts, take pictures, look up information, stream live video, play games, make purchases, and by the way, make phone calls.

As a result, these portable computers hold a wealth of personal information like names, phone numbers, addresses of our friends and relatives, our financial account information, and other personal information.

When it comes time to get a new smartphone, when your old one breaks or its time to get the latest more powerful model, don’t discard or give away that old device before you have taken steps to protect your personal information.

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) recommends,

·         Save any text messages that you want to keep and make a backup of your contacts list. Once you have saved this information to your new smartphone, delete this information from your old phone. This should be especially easy if you can keep your information in the “cloud.”

·         Remove any social media apps or other apps that might have your sensitive data such as Dropbox, banking apps, or shopping apps.

·         Check your old smartphone for any extra files that it might be storing by hooking it up to your computer and looking at its file system. This might be a good time to save any pictures on your smartphone and then remove them from your phone.

ITRC also recommends that once you have taken the above steps, do a factory reset to the phone’s original status. That way you ensure that whoever gets possession of the smartphone in the future does not have your sensitive, personal information.

The Identity Theft Resource Center:

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