Technology is improving everyday, and once you give in and buy the latest and greatest, the next best thing is already out on store shelves. New phones are coming out at a fast pace, and when you decide to replace yours with the newest version out there, you could earn a little cash by re-selling your old phone.
However, when handing your phone over to a stranger, it's important to remember that your Smartphone is a really small, but powerful computer that contains more personal information than anything else you own.
Newschannel 6 has the steps you need to take to make sure your personal information doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
AT&T Store Manager Bryan Western says, "If your information is on there and they can access your account, then yes they would have access to all your accounts."
If an ID thief gets a hold of your Smartphone, the first thing they'll do is start searching through your e-mails to figure out what online accounts you have. They then go to each website's 'I forgot my password' page to have a password reset sent to the account on your Smartphone. Once they have access to your email accounts, it's all downhill from there.
Western showed us how easy it was to clear your information from one of the most popular models out there. Iphone users can securely erase all data by tapping settings, general, and scrolling down to the very bottom option, which is reset. And unlike your computers hard-drive, which retains information, even after you erase it, you data has been wiped clean, never to return.
"Absolutely, it will completely wipe the phones memory. Your phone's memory isn't on a hard drive, its actually on, like a flash drive. It will completely wipe it, especially with the newer model Smartphones, it wipes everything. It wipes all of your cookies, you Internet browsing data, all of that at one time."
With both Blackberry and Android handsets, you also need to pay attention to the expansion memory cards. Either wipe them as well or remove them before you sell your handset.
And if you don't feel confident resetting your phone to factory setting yourself, you can always let the professionals do it for you. Check out AT&T's recycling program.
"What we actually do with Smartphones is here in the store we actually wipe the device for the customer. Make the phone exactly like it was when it came out of the box. No personal information, no pictures none of your contacts are on there, nothing like that."
Once your phone is clean, you can set it free to start its new life with its new owner, and begin a new, beautiful relationship with your brand new Smartphone.