According to the advertising slogan, diamonds are forever.  However, smartphones definitely are not.  Most people update to a new smartphone about every two years.  We use our smartphones for many purposes from doing banking to taking photos and our smartphones contain large amounts of personal information including passwords, account numbers and other information that we should take care to keep private when we turn in our phones.  The first thing, however,  that you should be doing even if you do not intend to turn in your phone soon is to backup all of the data from your phone on to your computer, a portable hard drive or the cloud.


When you are going to turn in your phone for a new one, you should clear your old phone of all app data and use a factory reset that is intended to clear your device of information stored in the phone.  Generally, your service provider can transfer the information to your new smartphone before you delete it from your former phone.  Check the owner’s manual, the provider’s website or the website of your phone’s manufacturer for instructions about how to do a hard reset of your phone before you dispose of it.  It is also important to remove or delete the data contained on your phone’s SIM or SD card which contain important data and photos.  Even if you have cleared and reset your phone, your SIM or SD card will retain information so it is critical to remove your SIM or SD card from your old phone or have the data on these cards deleted.