How To Wipe Personal Info From Unwanted Devices - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

How To Wipe Personal Info From Unwanted Devices

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WMDT 47 NEWS - The big Consumer Electronic Show is wrapping up today in Las Vegas, giving people across the country a glimpse at new technology and gadgets they might want to buy in 20-14.       

Before you ditch your cell phone or computer, how do you make sure your private information is wiped clean from your old devices?  

Billions of cell phones, tablets, and other electronics are out on the market, and as new ones come along, many may feel the itch to upgrade.

Cheryl Davis says she gets a new cell phone, "once a year."

But she's not really sure how to safely get rid of the old devices.  Cheryl is worried about "phone numbers, friends family...and I don't particularly want that to get into other people's hands."

And that not an irrational fear.  Travis Fisher, EVP Inacom Info Systems, says"somebody that's moderately skilled in data recovery can pull a lot of information with the proper kinds of software."

So if you've got a drawer full of old phones or an unused computer you want to get rid of...what should you do?

For cell phones and tablets, the key words are "encrypt" and "reset".

Apple products typically come with a built in  pass code option.  Then just go to settings, click "general," and look for the reset option.

"Using Android, most phones are not encrypted by default, so you want to encrypt the phone and at point you do a reset," says Fuller.

When it comes to computers, simply dumping documents into the trash won't cut it.  "Some researchers went and actually looked at the hard drives and were able to pull out all sorts of information.  Medical records, billing statements..." says Travis Fisher.

Instead, Travis  suggests using a free software called Derik's Boot And Nuke to wipe your Mac or PC clean.

Not convinced your old technology is purged of your personal info?  Our expert says to physically destroy it.
And after all of that, if you still don't feel comfortable about donating or giving away your smart phone?  Another alternative, if it still works at can always use it as a pretty nice alarm clock.

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