Disclosure: As part of U.S. Cellular's Blogger Brigade Program, I did receive compensation for this post. The opinions here are mine and nobody else's. I have been a U.S. Cellular customer for 20+ years. In fact, I have never been with another cell phone company.
OK~A new year brings new devices. Your online safety matters to me and we have put together some tips to keep you safe and smart online when selling your cellular devices. Many people updated to the Apple iPhone 7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 over the holidays. It's not uncommon for people to sell their older devices after the holidays, as some folks want some extra cash or want to help out a family member through a donation to them.
Most importantly make sure you remove your personal information from your cellular device before you part with it. We have put together some tips to help you maneuver this process.
BACK UP YOUR CLOUD ACCOUNT
There are several steps to take when wiping your phone of personal information. A good first step is to save all contacts, photos, notes, files, and other information to a Cloud account, computer or external hard drive. After the information is backed up, delete them from your phone and empty the deleted items folder.
REMOVE THE SIM CARD
Next remove your SIM card. The SIM card is the external storage device housed on the microSD card. It is the small, rectangular shaped card usually located near your phone battery.
LOG OUT OF SERVICES LIKE SOCIAL MEDIA AND EMAIL
You want to clear out of all email and social media accounts accessed from devices that you are parting ways with. This should clear all data, including passwords, from these apps.
DISCONNECT THE PHONE FROM THE CLOUD ACCOUNT
Now that you have backed up your data in step one, you want to disconnect from your cloud account. Otherwise, the phone's new owner could easily access information that's stored there.
REMOVE MOBILE PAYMENT OPTIONS
These days, many people do their banking,pay their bills and take care of other financial obligations from their mobile devices. Disconnect all links, apps, and accounts that are associated with banking institutions and credit cards.
RESTORE THE PHONE TO FACTORY SETTINGS AND TURN OFF ALL SERVICES
Whether you decide to upgrade or sell, restoring the device to its original factory settings will remove personal information. You can do this by going to the settings feature on most smartphones.
Call the service provider and remove the device from your account. U.S. Cellular associates are available at 1-888-944-9400.
UNREGISTER THE DEVICE
If the phone is registered with Apple by its serial number, remove it by logging into supportprofile.apple.com with the Apple ID information. Similarly, Androids will need to be unregistered. First, go to the Google Play store from the computer's Web browser. Then, go to the gear icon at the top-right-hand corner of the screen, and select the Settings option. Deselect the device from the Google account under the Visibility option. This will hide select device from appearing in the Play store when attempting to download a new app.
If you are the buyer here are a few tips for you:
- Wipe your new used phone clean before personalizing it with your information. It will ensure that the devices settings, data, and apps are only yours. You will start with a clean slate.
If you are the recipient of a new to you cellular device, remember you can always stop into any U.S. Cellular location for assistance. U.S. Cellular has a machine known as a device solution center that can confirm all information has been removed and all accounts have been disconnected. This same device can also transfer your contact, pictures, etc. to your new device.
Enjoy your new cellular device, but most importantly remember to be safe and smart online. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?