- The personal information stored in files on your device – including contacts, photos, videos and email attachments – can be accessed and used for criminal activity.
- Any passwords stored on your device could give access to secure websites holding your personal and financial information.
- Any browsing history can be accessed.
- emails stored on your device can be accessed.
- Disposing of your device without having retrieved the information you may need in the future may cause inconvenience or disruption.
- Ensure all data is copied from your device by syncing it with your computer – or backing it up to the cloud – then restoring it to factory settings.
- With Android phones, enable encryption on your device before applying the factory reset. Apple iPhones already feature hardware encryption by default – a feature that cannot be user-disabled. To be completely sure that your data is deleted, however, download and use a reputable data deletion tool.
- If the device is at the end of its life and you do not intend to sell it or give it away, take it to a proper disposal facility, which will ensure that is dismantled and the components recycled correctly and responsibly.