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Anyone who carelessly crosses their cell phone can be a loser

Anyone who carelessly crosses their cell phone can be a loser

TrendFM, Aug 16, 2023, 5:15 p.m

Pictures of forgotten vacations, read-outs of last month’s gas mileage, bank card statements, text messages—we store a lot of similar and often sensitive data on our cell phones, even without our knowledge. According to recent research, a large number of Hungarians pass their unused mobile phones to others, and many of them do not delete the data stored on them, which can end up in unauthorized hands.

Based on a national research by Yettel, 40% of Hungarians give away or donate their old mobile phones, and 23% sell them. And what happens to the remaining data on the old phone? While 65% of the respondents feared that the data on their devices could be misused, 16% had never deleted their personal data before passing on the mobile phone. In addition, based on the answers, 14% would not do anything on their own with the content on their mobile phone in such a situation, but would mostly seek help from others.

However, we store a lot of personal and sensitive data on our devices: from photos taken of ourselves and others, to bank card details and passwords to our social media accounts, so if a mobile phone falls into the wrong hands it can be misused. Examples of types of fraud include profile theft, where money or information is obtained using our name and information. To avoid this, it’s worth following a few simple steps before handing over the device – but if you just remember to delete the data afterwards, all is not necessarily lost!

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What should we do if we remove the data?

First, back up the entire contents of the phone so that you can access them later. Many phones already save certain data to the cloud – in the case of an iPhone, in iCloud, and in the case of Android, in a Google account or in the device manufacturer’s profile – and it’s worth setting up a regular automatic backup, but before you “exit” the phone, do Make another backup manually. There are also applications that specifically help with data transfer when switching between mobile operating systems. If there is an SD card in the device, remove it, because personal data may also be stored on it.

After that, start the factory reset, which means that all our customized data and settings will be deleted from the phone and it will return to its factory state. It is better to choose this option than to erase data manually, because this way no sensitive information will remain on the device – in addition to photos and videos stored there, for example, browsing history, passwords, bank data, messages and corporate correspondence.

The factory reset process also depends on the type of phone. In the case of iOS, you can find it in the “Settings > General” menu under the “Transfer or Reset iPhone” option. For Android devices, it also depends on the manufacturer, but most of the time you can access Factory Data Reset via Settings > General Management > Reset.

If the data remains on the device

If we receive a used phone from a family member or friend, we may find the data of the previous owner on it. In this case, let’s agree with him whether you need to save the data, and then set the factory data reset. We may not be able to do this because the previous user has password protected the device, which is why it is important to delete the device before handing it over.

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All is not lost if our data remains on a device that has already been handed over: if we are still logged into our online account on the device – iCloud in the case of an iOS account and Google account in the case of Android – we can remotely lock or delete the account from the phone on the web interface related to these services. This option can also help if we have left or stolen our mobile phone.

Permanent deletion help

In addition to the above, the data deletion service is also available from the National Media and Communications Authority (NMHH), in which the data stored on the device is permanently deleted from the smartphone. When buying a new device, this includes the so-called data erasing code, with which the erasure process is performed Page can be started. More information about the service is available from your mobile operator on his website.

If you’re done with data recovery and can no longer sell your old device to anyone, it’s worth taking it back to any Yettel store, and the service provider will take care of the professional recycling.

Gábor Eyed, the company’s chief communications consultant, asked Gábor Eyed for details.

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