Hardware clinic: Expunging personal data from a BlackBerry is easy

Vital if you want to sell your old Curve

remove personal data from your curve

Having acquired a BlackBerry BB10 device in the form of a keypad-sporting Q5, GoMo News decided to recycle its old BlackBerry Curve 9320. The obvious thing to do was to go onto a handset recycling comparison web site and see which company was prepared to pay the most for the device. However, we then remembered writing this story¬† … Personal data found on UK second-hand handsets by Channel 4. In it we reported that High Street handset recyclers such as Cash Converters and CEX had been selling second-hand mobile devices without fully removing the data of the previous owner. Not wishing to fall victim to this mistake ourselves, we decided to wipe the personal data ourselves. And discovered just how easy it is to do with a BlackBerry compared to other devices such as Android and iOS based handsets.

Before you start wiping data on the handset itself, the first thing to do is to decide what you are going to do with the remove able (SD) memory card. You don’t actually have to supply it with the handset.

So you can simply remove it. It’s hard to spot but on the Curve the slot which accept the SD card is in the back of the handset right at the top and in the middle.

Of course, it is possible to reformat the card and that will remove all your personal data. Ensure you’ve properly backed up all the data on it first otherwise you could lose all the photos you’ve taken, for example.

Then select ‘Settings’ and after that ‘Storage and Access’. In that menu if you scroll down you’ll find an option to format the card.

Having dealt with the memory card, the next bit is really easy. Once again go to ‘Settings’ and ‘Security and Privacy’. In that menu system you will find the option ‘Security Wipe’.

A word of warning. This is not for the fainthearted because once you’ve accepted the security wipe, all you data and the apps you’ve installed will vanish.

Before you select Security Wipe, ensure the handset is plugged into the mains charger because if it suddenly runs out of juice during the wipe there’s a slight chance you might ‘brick’ the phone. Bricking means rendering useless.

As a last precaution once you’ve selected Security Wipe the handset will ask you to type in the word “blackberry” before the process completes.

Now all you’ve got to do is find the highest price. In the early days of handset recycling, consumers used to go directly to one of the big names such as Mazuma.

These days it’s no longer necessary. There are handset recycling sites such as Omio and SellMyMobile.com.

If you want to know a bit more about how they work, just read our story ‘iPhone 3G is most popular recycled phone in the UK‘. That story concerned an iPhone 3 but the principles are the same.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
This article was published in BlackBerry, hardware clinic and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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