The holiday season is the perfect time to break up with the old and fall in love with a new mobile phone. But what happens to your old phone once you’ve moved on?
Our recent nationwide Google Consumer Survey confirmed our hunch: most people have an old mobile phone or two just sitting in a dusty drawer at home. If you lined up all these old phones across the country end-to-end, there would be a trail from San Francisco to the North Pole and back. That’s a LOT of phones.
Why aren’t people getting rid of their old phones? We found that privacy is a major concern – many said they didn’t want to let go of an old phone because of the personal information on the device, or because they were worried that their personal information could be exposed.
Good news! You can give your old phone a new life in just a few simple steps:
- Save the data. Some might want to save photos and other content from an old phone, and there are several options available, depending largely on the device type. For Android, Lookout Premium backs up photos and contacts and can restore data to a new device. iPhone owners can use iCloud to back up and store important data.
- Wipe it clean. It’s important to remove data off of your unwanted phone before reselling, donating or recycling. For Android, Lookout Premium can wipe personal information, restoring the phone to its original settings. For other device types, do a Google search on how to factory reset. Factory resetting will restore an old phone to its original state, erasing apps, photos, contacts, call logs and more.
- Ditch the SIM. If your phone is equipped with a SIM card, it’s important that you remove it. Doing so will further ensure that none of your phone’s previous information will be passed on to a future owner.
So now that you have a clean mobile phone, what should you do with it? You can recycle, resell or donate! It’s the holidays, and it’s a great time to do something for others. Cell Phones for Soldiers collects gently used phones and uses the profits to give calling cards for soldiers abroad, so they can connect with loved ones this holiday season. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said they’d be willing to part with their unwanted phones for a good cause, so what’s stopping you? Hop on over to our phone hoarding page to learn more.
You’re out of excuses! It’s time to wipe your old phone clean, and let it go.
We ask: how many old phones do you have at home? Tell us in the comment section!