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Keep Everyone Protected When Handing Down Mobile Devices This Holiday Season

It’s a very common scenario, a parent—grandparent, aunt, or uncle—buys the latest model smartphone or tablet and hands-down their previously used device to a grandchild, niece, or nephew. This is especially common during the Holidays with connected devices topping most youth’s wish lists.

And with companies like eBay, Verizon, and AT&T competing to buy your used devices, now there’s an additional incentive to hand-down your old device and upgrade this holiday season.

Protect your holiday hand-me-downs

To many consumers handing down or selling their device may seem like a harmless act. However, the truth is that today’s mobile devices are powerful mini computers that contain a wealth of personal and often private information. Mobile devices often house sensitive information like passwords, banking details, emails, social apps, videos, and photos. If any of this information falls into the wrong hands, it could be used to access your personal and financial information—wreaking havoc on your life.

Mobile security expert, Candid Wueest, recommends taking some practical safety measures before handing-down or selling your mobile devices. Consider the following tips if you plan to gift or sell a mobile device, to ensure your personal data remains private.

Handing-down your mobile device?

1. Before you hand over a device, make sure you set an access passcode. Help the child set one up that is easy to remember for them, but do not use something that is too easy to guess by anyone. For example, don’t use 0000 or 1234.

2. Remember to delete your browser history before you gift the device.

3. Check that the device does not contain any photos that you do not wish to share or make public. Also be sure to verify the cloud storage settings on your device so that you know where your private information is stored.  Consider taking additional steps to prevent an iCloud data breach.

4. Establish restrictions or disable in app purchases using device’s Setting controls. You can also logout of app store accounts to avoid unauthorized purchases on your account. This is relatively straightforward and your smartphone or tablet manufacturer should provide step-by-step instructions of this procedure on their website.

5. Use apps that have an additional layer of protection such as email if you want to ensure that it is not possible to delete, read, or access emails and other information.

6. Make a backup, to ensure you can restore if all goes wrong. Norton Security with Backup helps to automatically backup the photos, movies, and files that you choose to protect onto a secure online storage.

7. Since you are empowering your child with a connected device, help them understand and implement best practices to stay safe online and on social media.

8. Finally, it is important to have a plan incase the device is lost or stolen. Instruct the child on what to do in either case. Norton Security will not only protect against many cyber threats it can also instantly locate misplaced or stolen devices.

Selling your mobile device?

According to our mobile expert, Candid Wueest, if you are handing your device over for cash, these previous steps are not necessary as you should make sure to completely wipe your device in its entirety and reset it to factory settings. Everything on your device should be wiped and deleted. Lastly, not forget to remove the sim card from the device.


Take this further to those


Take this further to those companies that own their mobile assets and not completing this prior to handing to new employee.