Tip 4: Perform a factory reset if returning

On Boxing Day here in the UK (26th December for anyone who doesn’t celebrate it) the NCSC (that’s the National Cyber Security Centre) blogged about staying smart with your Christmas gadgets.  This included 5 tips which are always true for gadgets and our tech-filled lives, so I thought I’d go through them.

Perform a factory reset if returning / trading in

It’s important that if you’re returning a device for any reason, to remove all of your personal data off it.  This could be because you’re at the end of your contract on your mobile phone and you’re returning it for an upgrade, or it may be damaged or defective in some way but still usable, or maybe you’re part-exchanging your laptop for a newer shinier one.  Make sure that you factory reset the device, whatever it is, in order to wipe all your personal data off it.

For mobile phones, you can also unlink accounts from the device.  This works for things like Google, Dropbox, and many many more.  Go into the web version of the service and in the security settings is often a list of known or trusted devices.  Remove the device from there, before you return it.

What you don’t want is for someone else to get your device after you, and find anything on there that can be used to hack into any of your accounts.  Better to be safe than sorry.