Wiping personal data from smart devices: It’s more complicated than hitting delete

Smartphones, smartwatches and tablets store much more personal data than your computer.  They keep information about where you live and work, your health, stored passwords to access your accounts and more. That’s why it’s so important to wipe your devices before you get rid of them. But simply deleting this data from your phone is not enough.

The newest SANS Institute newsletter explains how to securely erase all the data that’s on your mobile device. You can read the full newsletter here.

The easiest way to erase the data is to reset the device. And an even better way to do this is to make sure you have encryption enabled on your phone, smartwatch or tablet before resetting it. In addition it’s critical to consider what to do with your SIM card. Even when you wipe the device your SIM card keeps information about you. The best case scenario is to just transfer the SIM card to your new device. If that is not an option then consider physically destroying your SIM card to prevent anyone else from using it and accessing your accounts.

To protect your information it’s crucial to take these steps before getting rid of a mobile device. And that’s the case no matter how you plan on getting rid of your phone, smartwatch or tablet – even if you’re just giving it to a family member or friend.