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Planning on upgrading your mobile phone soon? Think data & apps Think security ……

June 29, 2018 Telecommunications No Comments

Your mobile stores sensitive data and you should take a moment to ensure you are protecting that data. Nothing complicated, just a quick review and maybe a settings change to enable encryption. Sooner or later you will upgrade when your old one is lost, stolen, or becomes too slow.

Firstly, set a password or PIN to unlock your handset if you have not done so already. Even with phones that support fingerprint or facial recognition, you can set a password to require when switching them on or changing security settings.

Next, enable encryption on your handset. All modern phones support this.

To check whether your Android handset is encrypted touch Settings > Security & location > Encryption & credentials and look for the message “Phone encrypted”. If you do not see this go ahead and enable it on that same screen. This could take a little while if you have a lot of data stored.

To check whether your iPhone handset is encrypted touch Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and scroll down to look for the message “Data protection is enabled” This is enabled by default once you set a passcode.

To permanently erase all apps and data on your your Android handset touch Settings > System > Reset options > Erase all data (factory reset). Because your device storage is encrypted, your data is now inaccessible.

To permanently erase all apps and data on your iPhone touch Settings > General > Erase All Content and Settings. Because your device storage is encrypted, your data is inaccessible.

This means that ALL device data is gone; photos, email, messages, installed apps and app data, everything. Online backups are something to be mindful of, but data on the handset is inaccessible to the next owner (or thief) so can be considered safe.

The final thing to consider is any device you paired your mobile handset to. That includes your car! If you transferred your contacts or other data (such as your home address or GPS points of interest) then be sure you also delete that data before selling your car. That may be more complicated, but your owner’s manual or service garage should be able to help you.

As a reminder, handsets contain chemicals and metals that should not be thrown away in your rubbish. Take it back to your mobile provider and ask about recycling or take it to the recycling centre at La Collette for advice on how to dispose of it properly.

Tom Brossman, IT Consultant


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