Our phones store tons of our personal info. Moreover, they are gateways to our social media accounts, virtual wallets and online stores. Thus, this data requires proper protection, especially when we trade or discard our devices. Here are some tips on how to wipe your Android phone safely.
Before wiping your Android phone make sure to:
1. Going to Settings -> Security & location;
2. Selecting Advanced;
3. Tapping Encryption & credentials;
4. Tapping Encrypt phone.
– Remove any payment cards associated with your phone.
– Sign out of Android Beta if you have Pixel or Nexus phones.
To back up your files on Android you should:
1. Go to Settings;
2. Choose System;
3. Click Advanced;
4. Click Backup;
5. Switch it to On. Your data will be stored in Google Drive.
Android 8.1 or later automatically backs up your text messages (but not your call log). If you want a more secure way to save your text messages and your call log, you can use third-party tools to do so.
You should also sync your apps with your Google account. Google apps will sync to your account automatically. If this does not happen, you can sync them manually by:
1. Going to Settings;
2. Tapping Accounts;
3. And turning on Automatically sync data.
Please note that to sync other apps, you will have to check individual app settings and sync them manually.
If you want to back up your photos:
1. Open the Google Photos app;
2. Sign in;
3. Click on the three stripes in the top left;
4. Select Settings;
5. Tap Back up & sync;
6. Switch it on by tapping on the toggle next to Back up to Google Drive option.
However, Google Photos is not the best choice privacy-wise, so check our list of more private photo apps.
The same goes for Google Drive, although it can be a useful back-up tool. You can find more privacy-focused Google Drive alternatives.
To reset an Android phone, you must first disable its factory reset protection (FRP):
1. Go to Settings;
2. Select Accounts;
3. Tap on your account;
4. Choose Remove Account.
Now you can perform an Android factory reset and wipe your phone. Here is how to reset your Android phone:
1. Go to Settings -> System
2. Tap Advanced -> Reset Options;
3. Choose Erase all data (factory reset);
4. Tap the Reset phone button;
5. Tap Erase everything and your phone will be returned to the same state as when you purchased it.
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