FOX 35 ORLANDO - If you are looking to ditch your smart phone, experts say that you have got to be smart about it.
Smartphones dominate our lives and it seems like a new models hit stores every few months. With a new upgrade though comes the e-waste.
James McQuiggan, a local cyber security expert, says that "when you go to get rid of your phone, there are a couple of things you want to do. You want to erase the content and all the information on there. On the settings in the device, there will be a setting to erase that content."
Thousands of phones are donated every month to recycling companies across the United States. A used iPhone cannot be re-activated though if the 'Find My iPhone' feature is still on. This feature is handy when trying to stop a thief, but it also stops the recycler from reactivating your phone with a new phone number.
McQuiggan went on to say that "one of the things with the Apple brand, you want to make sure you turn off the location and find my iPhone because it prevents the phone from being fully erased and prevents them from being able to use it again. You have to disable Find my iPhone before you go ahead and do the full erase."
To disable the Find my iPhone feature, go to settings and click the Apple ID and iCloud and switch off or disable it.
McQuiggan said that there is another important step to take. "Once you've gotten all the information erased, and it's back to the facotry settings, then you want to make sure you remove the sim card and either throw it away or destroy it."
Keep these steps in mind for all of your e-ware from phones to desktops. Any devices sent for recycling that cannot be re-used are broken down and sold for parts.