Keep your personal data safe when selling your old phone

Keep your data safe when selling your old phone

Were you aware that the average cost to a business for a data breach is on average US$1.25 million? And were you aware that Canada ranks in the top 4 of the countries with the most costly data breach experience?  For individuals, the mean cost for consumer fraud sits at around $1,038 and the reason that average is fairly low is because we have become more savvy with technology. But what about a breach of your personal and sensitive data. Can you put a price on that?

In today’s digital age, our constant interconnectedness and reliance on our mobile phones sees us storing ever-mounting personal data. These hotspots create potential exposure to every aspect of our private lives resting in our devices. Does saying goodbye to your old phone have to mean bidding adieu to your data privacy too? Although data privacy concerns continue to be a far-reaching hot topic, most of us tend to live under the assumption that we are being safe and careful, and that our data is, in fact, our data… until it is not! One can presume that in our digital age, data privacy is our most valuable currency as it is something that we create and should have power over, rather than something we acquire. 

There are many solutions out in the marketplace that can assist you in being safe with sharing sensitive information, but what about all the information that is stored directly on your device? Typically, we only think about that once we decide to sell, donate or recycle our smartphones. To help safeguard your digital identity and your sensitive data on your mobile phones, eMobile wants to shed some light on the best procedures to safely sell or dispose of your cell phone and what process eMobile utilizes when professionally auditing and data wiping phones.

First thing’s first: always factory reset your phone before selling, donating, or simply passing it on to a family member or friend. A factory reset is an option that every smartphone has that basically resets the phone to its original setting. What if I just delete all my files and apps? Won’t that be enough? In short, no, it will not! To ensure your personal data does not fall into the wrong hands, always take the extra step to factory reset, or wipe, your device. Below are some general links that can provide a step by step guide:

Is a factory reset of my phone enough?

The real answer to that depends. There are examples and articles discussing exactly where encryption protocols and security issues with certain versions of operating systems fall short. As a general rule, iPhones are considered ‘safer’ when it comes to data wiping over Android phones. Android is a platform made by Google, but the phones the system runs on is made by a different company with its own addition to the OS (Pixel phones excluded). Apple devices are encrypted, whereas most android phones are not. 

How to ensure your phone is safe for resale

eMobile utilizes a 3 step process:

1. Owner Factory Reset: 

When we source the phone, we provide instructions to the seller on how to safely prepare the phone for resale. The steps to follow are simple:

    • Ensure your device is logged out of any accounts (iCloud, Samsung account, etc.) and pass codes/screen locks have been removed
    • Remove your SIM card from the phone
    • Delete any account information from your device 
    • Follow further detailed data wiping instructions for iPhone and Samsung devices 
2. eMobile Mandatory Factory Reset

Once the smartphone is received, our procedures include performing another mandatory factory reset, even if we receive the device fully formatted

3. Loading Junk Data and Final Data Wipe

Our final stage is to load junk data onto the wiped device and then perform a final factory reset. The junk data is loaded onto an already reset phone so that it acts as the new data before we reset it again. The intention is, even if someone has advanced tech to restructure a phone, the data they will recover will be the most recent data; essentially, the ‘junk’.


The data wiping is only part of a full suite of Life Cycle Management services eMobile offers. We put all of the devices we sell through a 35-point professional inspection. If you have a smartphone you are looking to sell, please visit our site! If you have further concerns regarding your smartphone privacy, please reach out directly to us at eMobile.





We’ve got a great selection of certified pre-owned devices at eMobile. Come check us out at By buying used from us, you are not only saving money, but you are lowering your carbon footprint and you are planting a tree with each purchased phone. Find out more about our ethical and ecological approach.