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Why it’s a good idea to wipe your smartphone at least once a year

It’s common sense to wipe your tech before you sell it, recycle it or give it to someone else. We keep a ton of personal information on our phones and computers, so if you don’t wipe them, you’re giving strangers your secrets. Tap or click here for our step-by-step guide to wiping your old gadgets.

Another reason you should wipe your tech is to boot out hackers. You could have identifiable data in your old smartphone, which gives cybercriminals the key to your kingdom. Actually, we recommend wiping your smartphone regularly.

Here are a few reasons why you should include your smartphone on your spring cleaning list.

You dust your home. Why not clear out your phone, too?

Just think about all the personal information on your smartphone. For instance, it’s probably connected to your bank and email accounts. You’ve also got to think about pictures of your family, along with all the private texts you’ve sent. Who wants strangers to go through those?

Many of us live our lives entirely through technology. There are obvious reasons why this is a bad idea — like hackers — but never cleaning out your information can be bad for other reasons. Here are some benefits of giving your phone storage a once over:

  • Improve speed and performance
  • Open up your storage for new applications and data
  • Get rid of unwanted and unneeded files

Before you clear your phone out, you’ll want to back up your important data so you don’t lose it. Before performing a backup, go through and delete anything that isn’t necessary for your phone’s performance.

How to back up and restore your iPhone

Depending on your operating system, you’ll have to follow a different set of steps. Here’s what to do with your specific setup:

Back it up using iCloud

  • Head to Settings
  • Choose iCloud
  • Select iCloud Backup and turn it on

Next, select Back Up Now for a manual backup. Otherwise, this will happen automatically when your phone is locked, connected to power and connected to Wi-Fi.

Back it up using your Mac

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable.
  • Head to the Finder and choose your iPhone.
  • At the top of the window, choose General.
  • Tap Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac.
  • You can choose to encrypt your data by selecting Encrypt local backup.
  • Choose Back Up Now.

Now it’s time to wipe everything from your device. Once you do that, keep scrolling for directions to restore your last backup.

Wipe your iPhone

  • Tap Settings > General > Reset.
  • Then tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  • If asked, enter your passcode or Apple ID password.
  • Then confirm that you want to erase your device. This could take a few minutes.

Restore your iPhone

  • Head to Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Select Software Update.
  • Head to Settings after the update.
  • Choose iCloud.
  • Select Manage Storage.
  • Tap Backups.

HERE’S A HELPFUL TIP: 5 steps to back up your data like a pro

How to back up and restore your Samsung Galaxy

Sure, Apple gets a lot of the headlines, but actually, Samsung is the most popular smartphone brand in the world right now. Out of all its offerings, the Galaxy is most loved. That’s thanks to its cutting-edge features, sleek design and speedy operating system, which can help you wrack up a ton of data you’ll want to back up.

Back it up manually

  • Head to Settings.
  • Choose your name.
  • Click on Back up data.
  • Select Back up data a second time.
  • Choose the data you want to back up and select Back up a final time.
  • When the data is done syncing, choose Done.

Back it up automatically

  • Head to Settings.
  • Select your name.
  • Choose Back up data.
  • Select More options.
  • Choose Settings.
  • Click Sync and auto back up settings.
  • Choose the Auto back up tab.

Now that you’ve backed up the important stuff, here’s how to erase it from your phone.

Wipe your system

  • Head to the Apps menu.
  • Tap the Settings icon.
  • Scroll down and select Backup and Reset. (If this option is not in the Settings menu, go to General management and then hit Reset. Some phones hide the Backup and Reset section under this menu.)
  • Next, select Factory Data Reset.
  • A new page will open up. Now, select Reset Device.
  • Tap Erase Everything. (If you have an older phone, the option might appear as Delete All.)

Restore your Galaxy

  • Head to Settings.
  • Choose Accounts and backup.
  • Select Restore data under the Samsung Cloud option.
  • Choose your device from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose restore.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to download your data.

Although Samsung Galaxy devices are very popular, there are several hidden tricks you might not know about. Tap or click here for nine helpful tips to get the most out of your device.

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