phone

A guide to securely wiping your phone for resale or recycle

A brand-new phone is an exciting occasion. This is, after all, your new window on the world. But that doesn’t mean you should move on straight away: whether you’re planning to sell, gift, recycle, return or donate your old phone, you’ll need to ensure all of your personal data has been securely erased and the phone reset to factory conditions.

FIRST, however, ensure that all of your personal data is transferred to your new phone or backed up (or both!). Once your old phone is reset, there’s no going back, and the last thing you want is your new-phone excitement ruined by the loss of your contact details or your photos of that incredible, never-to-be-repeated holiday.

Factory resetting your Android phone 

Factory Reset Protection (FRP)

Newer Android phones have an anti-theft measure known as Factory Reset Protection (FRP). For a new user (buyer, giftee or donatee) to be able to access the phone, you’ll need to disable FRP. To do this, go to Settings > Security > Screen Lock and set it to None. It is now also a good idea to delete your Google account (and any other accounts while you’re at it): go to Settings > Accounts, then select each account in turn and Remove Account).

Encryption

If your device is relatively new, the phone’s local storage should already be automatically encrypted (meaning that even if your data is somehow recovered post-reset, it will still be virtually unreadable). If you have an older device, search for ‘encrypt’ in your settings menu to check encryption is in place – or follow the prompts to encrypt your data, if necessary. Note that encryption can be time-consuming – don’t start this if you’re waiting for a call in five minutes!

Factory Reset

Now – once you’ve removed your SIM card and any MicroSD cards – you can wipe your Android phone. Different devices may have slightly different steps, but generally, you can go to Settings > System > Advanced > Reset Options > Erase All Data (Factory Reset) > Reset Phone. (An alternative pathway may involve tapping Settings > General Management > Reset > Factory Data Reset > Reset.) And you’re done!

You can further divorce yourself from your old device by also removing your phone from your Google account by visiting Security > Your Devices > Manage Devices via your web-based Google account manager.

Factory resetting your iPhone

As with an Android phone, the first steps should be to backup your data, then unpair any devices (such as an Apple Watch) and remove your SIM card. You should also turn off ‘Find My iPhone’ (via, depending on the age of your device, either Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone or Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Find My iPhone) and sign out of other services such as iMessage and the App Store – then sign out of iCloud completely.

Once you’re out of your accounts, you’re good to go with the iPhone factory reset. Click to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings and confirm the selection.

Need assistance? Talk to the Geelong IT professionals and iPhone experts

If you’re having trouble with any of the above – particularly if you’re not sure your backup has worked properly – don’t hesitate to stop by the Geelong Technology Group showroom and we can give you a hand. We’re also a Geelong Apple Authorised iPhone and Macbook repairer, meaning if it’s just a repair you need, not a whole new device – we’re your team! 

Give us a call on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) or come and see us in person at 166 Francis Street, Belmont.

digital wallet

What is a Digital Wallet? E-wallet Tips, Set-up and Security

So… you’ve seen people holding their phones near a payment device to purchase their latte or BLT roll, with no credit or debit card in sight (and no cash, for that matter!). You may be making your own mobile-based purchases daily, too. But what exactly is a digital wallet? And how secure is ‘e-wallet’ technology?

Digital wallets explained

A digital wallet is pretty much what it says on the box – digital storage of items that you might normally keep tucked away in your wallet or purse. Items that can be stored in a digital wallet include credit and debit cards (allowing users to make convenient payments from their phone or smartwatch), identity documents (such as Covid-19 vaccination certificates), loyalty cards (particularly helpful if you love a loyalty card, but don’t want to carry 237 of the abominable things around!), gift cards, and tickets to movies or events. Just note, however, that not all of these items can be added to all digital wallets. Restrictions may depend on what financial institution you are with, what company is issuing your virtual tickets, your choice of digital wallet, and the make of your mobile device.

Payments using your digital wallet

Other than perhaps the aforementioned loyalty card storage, digital wallets are most useful in terms of their ability to allow us to make contactless payments. Examples of digital wallets that enable tap-and-go payments at in-store terminals include Apple’s Wallet, Samsung Pay, PayPal, and Google Pay. The digital wallet stores virtual versions of your cards or account details, so you don’t need to carry a physical card, then uses software to link your payment details to the transaction vendor. Just like you would crack open your wallet to access your physical credit card when buying something, you open your digital wallet app to access your virtual payment details – then use your device to ‘tap and go’ as usual.

To get started using a digital wallet, all you need to do is choose your preferred wallet (often the built-in wallet on your mobile device or, alternatively, a (thoroughly researched) option downloaded from your app store) and add a compatible debit or credit card. Once you’re set up and out and about, open your application and move your device close to the payment machine; a message will be displayed on the machine when the payment has been approved. 

Digital wallet safety and security

What happens when you lose your real-world wallet and someone (unscrupulous) finds your debit or credit cards? They can tap-and-go, tap-and-go, tap-and-go for numerous small purchases (up to $200 a pop), without needing a PIN, until you report your card missing to your financial institution… But if you lose your phone with your digital wallet details? Well – if your phone is password or number-code protected or secured with fingerprint or face-recognition authentication – your financial details are safely locked up inside your device. Digital wallets also use advanced encryption to ensure that your payment information never leaves your device, generally making this technology the safer financial option.

Remember: once you’ve added cards to your digital wallet, make sure that you have also enabled the security features your mobile device offers, especially any biometrics including fingerprint or iris/face scanners. If your device doesn’t have these features, use a strong password, and change it often.

Stop by and see Geelong’s technology experts

With our phones now even more ubiquitous after becoming QR-code check-in experts over the past two years, payment via our mobile devices really is on the up and up. If you’re still uncertain about which digital wallet to use or how to use your phone to tap and go – feel free to ask one of our friendly technicians when you’re next in the Geelong Technology Group showroom – we are 100% here to help.

📍 166 Francis Street, Belmont 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484)