Today, your device is practically a window into your soul. Well, that may be overreaching, but many would agree that the thought of their device in the hands of an unknown entity is certainly a reason to take care when disposing of that smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
This is a brief review of what actions to take when disposing of your old technology. If you have more questions, feel free to reach out to your account manager or a NexusTek expert for more information.
- Make sure you have retained all information you need
Surprisingly, the exclamation of “I just can’t find that file” is uttered too often. When disposing of your technology items (whether selling, giving away, recycling or throwing in the trash) the most important thing to remember is to have a copy of anything on the device so you can transfer data when setting up the replacement item. Depending on the item and the provider, you may have to contact them directly but typically transferring that data is a straightforward process. This is simply a reminder not to forget to do it!
- Turn off any tracking/find me services
Virtually every device manufactured today has a method to locate the device should it be misplaced or stolen. Many of these tracking services are subscription-based. So, make sure you notify the vendor to cancel the subscription or have it transferred to the new device. When you add a new device without canceling the previous subscription, you run the risk of being billed for a device you no longer have.
- Log out of any services that are continually running on your device
With today’s reliance on cloud services, make sure you have logged out of any cloud services/apps and if possible notify them that the device is no longer allowed access. This step is often missed and yet very important to implement. This could be a cost-drain that may be neglected for months.
- Save and erase all content
Although, cell phones now have the app stores that know what you have installed, computers and tablets usually do not have this level of visibility into activities. However, they do have removable hard drives, which is the best way to access what needs to be erased. It is not difficult to revert the erased content from a hard drive if a mistake is made or you want the data bad enough. But, if you neglect to save the content before you dispose of the device, that content is gone. When your IT professional pulls a drive, they may hold it for up to six months before destroying it, just in case they need to retrieve more data.
- If Applicable, remove any cellular sim cards
This last instruction only applies to cellular connected devices (phones, tablets, watches, etc.). Remove the sim card and check with your carrier on what to do with it. The sim cards are a direct connection to your account. You want to make sure someone does not have any data that could allow unlawful access, even though the carrier has protocols in place to identify users. But, sometimes that information is easy to obtain.
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