How to wipe a phone to sell: An eBay checklist

28 January 2020 by Mikey Anderson

Whether or not we choose to line up outside the Apple store every September for the latest iPhone launch, most of us nowadays replace our smartphones with some regularity. After all, it’s still common to buy handsets on 18 or 24-month contracts and then upgrade again after they expire.

What's the outcome?

We end up with stacks of perfectly good technology kicking around unused. There is, of course, one solution to this problem: selling your old smartphones online - typically on sites such as eBay. This may seem like a simple process, but recent studies have proved this is not the case. So, how do you safely wipe a phone to sell?

How not to wipe a phone to sell!

A study commissioned by Comparitech found that one in five secondhand mobile phones still contain personally identifiable data from previous owners. Out of 100 secondhand smartphones bought on eBay, 19 per cent of the phones contained data from previous owners, and 17 per cent had personally identifiable data, e.g. tax documents, bank account details, text messages, private emails, and intimate photos.


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