Americans lost $13 billion through traditional identity fraud last year. Theft of personally identifiable information made it all possible for fraudsters.
Securing your personal data is crucial to defending yourself from predators. But what should you do when your entire life is stored on your phone and then it breaks?
In most cases, you can still keep the data that is important to you and send your device in for smart phone repair. However, before bringing your phone into the shop or mailing it in, there are a few steps you can take to secure your data.
Don’t lose your photos, texts, and emails simply because you need your phone fixed. Here are four steps that you should take before submitting your phone for repair.
Back up Your Smart Phone
If someone looked through your phone, what would they see? If you’re like most people, your phone is full of photos, your daily calendar, personal emails, and nearly every other detail of your daily life.
Typically phone repairs like screen replacements can be completed without any data loss. However, when it comes to broken phones, there is always a chance of losing something.
This is why creating a data backup is a crucial step to take before sending your phone in for repair.
If your phone is automatically set up to be backed up to cloud storage, you should be able to check the backup file to determine it is current. If so, you’re good to go.
If your phone doesn’t have a backup, however, you’ll need to create one.
The easiest way to do this is through the cloud. If you have an iPhone, you can back your data up to iCloud. If you have an Android phone like a Samsung, Google Drive will be the default cloud backup.
If you’re not able to take advantage of a cloud backup, you should save your photos and other data to a computer or external hard drive. If you don’t take this crucial step, your data may be lost.
Take Out Personal Information
Confirming that all of your data is stored on the cloud or a physical drive is just the first step. Once that is complete, it’s time to remove personal information from your smart phone.
The quickest way to do this is to reset your phone to factory settings. That means all of your data will be removed and your phone will be in the same state as it was when it left the factory.
With a factory reset, you can be sure that none of your passwords are available and that you aren’t logged into any private accounts.
If you aren’t comfortable with resetting your phone, the next best security step is to delete data and sign out of accounts. If you are using an iPhone, that also means turning off the “Find my iPhone” feature.
At the very least, you should remove any data that you wouldn’t want to accidentally fall into the wrong hands. This means any information that could help someone answer security questions on your behalf too.
Even though you will be sending your phone to professionals for repair, theft or accidents are sometimes unavoidable.
Remove Your Security Lock
The person repairing your phone will likely need to unlock it to ensure the repair was successful.
Since you have removed all of your personal data, you can remove the password as well. Otherwise, you can keep a simple password to give to the repair person.
To do this on an iPhone, you’ll need to go into your phone setting and scroll to the Face ID & Passcode section. Turning your passcode off will require that you enter it first for confirmation.
On an Android phone, access the Settings app and then the Lock Screen section. You’ll need to enter your passcode before turning it off completely.
Remove SIM Card and Accessories
Now that your phone is almost a blank slate, you’ll need to remove the SIM card if one is installed. If you examine your phone, you’ll likely see a small pinhole where you can insert a paperclip.
If you’ve never removed the SIM card from your smart phone before, you can do an internet search to learn how. Each phone model will differ in the location of the SIM card slot.
If you’ve installed any accessories on your phone, you’ll also need to remove them. This might include cases, protective covers, or additional storage cards.
What Else to Know About Smart Phone Repair
Once you’ve secured all of your data, be sure to physically protect your phone. Get it repaired as soon as you are able to prevent further damage. If you are experiencing a broken screen, it’s especially important to keep it secure.
While smart phone issues are common, it doesn’t hurt to read about the issue you are having. Repair is typically best left to a professional, but additional knowledge may help you from having problems in the future.
After your phone has been repaired, confirm everything is functioning as it should. Be sure to load your data back on your phone as well.
Get Your Phone Fixed
If you’re dealing with a broken phone, you’re not alone. Most people deal with a broken screen or another component at some point.
Worried about a smart phone repair? Most issues can be easily and quickly fixed by a professional, without the need to replace the phone.
Check out our smart phone repair options. We’ll have your life back in the palm of your hands in no time!