First remove the SIM card. Even though the majority of the information on your phone is saved in the internal memory, some information can be saved on the SIM card.
Second, if you have a micro-SD card, you should remove it. Normally this is not something that you need to supply when giving a cell phone away or when selling one.
Third, most cell phones have an option that will restore the phone to factory settings. This will remove all data on the phone and will then revert the phone back to the settings it had when you first purchased the phone. There are several good websites that will give you detailed instructions on how best to restore the factory settings. Some phones do require a little extra work in order for this option to work and remove all data completely.
Like cell phones some data is stored on your internal memory. While removing the hard drive does protect you to some extent, it might make it more difficult to sell or give as a gift, computer must have a hard drive to work properly.
The best way to protect yourself, is to use a hard drive destruction/ erasing programs. There are several good programs available on the internet for free. This type of program will over-write all of the information that is on the hard drive. This includes erasing the operating system to ensure that all personal data is removed. The Department of Defense has standards for data destruction and most programs will let you know whether or not the program meets these standards. (More details about this standard can be found on the DoD website at http://www.destructdata.com/dod-standard/)
After the hard-drive is removed, you will need to re-install the operating system (using DVDs or CDs that you received when you first purchased the computer. It is possible to sell the computer without an operating system on it, but again the computer will not work without an operating system loaded on to it.
If you look on your computer you will notice that just like your cell phone, it has an option that will restore the computer to factory settings. BEWARE, this does not completely remove your personal information from the computer. Anyone can download a free program available on the internet that will restore your original documents. In addition, reloading the operating system with erasing the hard drive first results in the same situation – someone can very easily restore your original documents.
While any computer can be hacked by someone determined enough and willing to spend the time and money, the above steps should help protect yourself from every day computer users. If your computer is obsolete or you are looking to recycle it. One of the services GER Solutions, LLC provides is data destruction. Older computer hard-drives are kept in a locked box until such time as they can be sent downstream to be shredded. Newer computers that could be resold have their hard-drives erased to Department of Defense standards 5220.22M. We will ensure that you can be worry free that your information is protected.
Security Tips Blog
With the continuing news stories about personal information being retrieved by spammers, hackers and others who seek to use your information for their personal gain, it is important to make sure that all of your information is as secure as you can make it.
As well as using passwords for your debit card, your on-line payments and your on-line accounts, having a password for your computer is equally important. With the increasing abundance of free public Wi-Fi, more and more people are using their computers in public places. You should password protect your computer so that if you walk away or close your laptop, your data is safe. This way, anyone sitting next to you cannot open the laptop and gain personal information. At home, by password protecting your computer, you can also help ensure that visitors (or your children or your children’s friends) to your home cannot access your information.
In addition, it is important to password protect your phone. By putting a password on the phone, you prevent others from accessing your information. If you accidently put the phone down and forget it, a password makes it more difficult for someone else to use your phone. By keeping your electronic devices safe; you protect your personal information.
It is important to maintain passwords and security measures while using the device but it is also important to make sure the device is properly erased and destroyed once you replace the device with newer technology. Make sure you recycle your electronics properly.
One of the services GER Solutions, LLC provides is data destruction. Older computer hard-drives are kept in a locked box until such time as they can be sent downstream to be shredded. Newer computers that could be resold have their hard-drives erased to Department of Defense standards 5220.22M. (More details about this standard can be found on the DoD website at http://www.destructdata.com/dod-standard/. A percentage of all erased computers are then validated that there are no recoverable files on the hard-drive. This protects you as none of your information can be viewed.
All cell-phones that are received are also placed in a locked box that is just for cell phones. The batteries are removed from the cell phones before being placed in the lock box. Then when the cell phones are shipped out for destruction they also go on a dedicated truck for destruction. This ensures that none of your phone contacts, emails or text messages can be viewed by a third party. Remember, just as it is important to use passwords and other security messages on your personal devices, it is vital to ensure that they are recycled in a manner that protects you.
With the holidays fast approaching (and with the after holidays sales), many people will get new computers and cell phones. This leaves you with their older models that can be either passed along to a family member or friend in need or can be sold (depending on the age of the computer and/ or cell phone). However, before these items are given away/ sold, it is important that all personal information is removed. This will protect you from identity theft as well as supply piece of mind that no one else can view your information, internet usage, emails, text messages and so forth. Below are several simple things that you can do to protect yourself.