‘Money: It’s Personal’ — How to protect the data on your cellphone before buying a new one

FTC offers tips to protect your information

SAN ANTONIO – A shiny, new phone is always great, but do you ever stop and think about the data on the phone you had before?

Passwords, account numbers, emails, text messages, photos and videos are more than likely stored on your phone. And if that information ends up in the wrong hands, someone could steal your identity, buy things with your money or hack into your accounts.

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The Federal Trade Commission has some tips on how to protect the data on your phone before you get rid of it.

First, back up the data on your phone, so you won’t lose any of the important information you’ve stored on your phone since day one.

Next, if your phone has a sim card or SD card, remove it. The cards may store your personal information, so it’s best to destroy them if you’re not going to re-use them. Ask your carrier if you can transfer your current sim or SD card to your new phone.

After backing up your information and removing your sim card from the old phone, the FTC says you should erase your personal information from the device. Make sure you deleted all your contacts, texts, pictures, videos and even your browsing history.

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Lastly, disconnect the device from any accounts it may be tethered to, and check that your phone is no longer paired with your smartwatch or your vehicle.

Remember to check if your phone doesn’t have any other passwords or account information stored on it before you sell, recycle or give the device away.

For more tips from the FTC, click here.

“Money: It’s Personal” is a series on KSAT’s News at 9 that breaks down personal finance topics. If you have a suggestion or question on the types of topics you’d like us to explain, email iherrera@ksat.com.

For more stories from KSAT’s News at 9, visit KSAT.com/newsat9.

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