Letting go of your old devices? Do these first.


MANILA, Philippines—Users should back up files and delete data in their smart phones and other mobile devices before disposing of these to prevent identity theft, a leading telecommunications company said.

In a public advisory, PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications said people should transfer files—contacts, photos, videos, messages and notes—to another device, external hard drives or cloud storage before wiping out these contents in their old gadgets.

A factory reset would delete any remaining data, the advisory said.

“Data is the new oil. In the wrong hands, they can be used to steal someone’s money or identity,” said the statement, quoting PLDT and Smart chief information security officer Angel Redoble.

GRAPHIC: Daniella Marie Agacer

PLDT and Smart also reminded users of the need to remove the SIM (subscriber identity module) cards and memory cards of phones or gadgets before disposing of these devices.

“Additionally, smart phones for disposal should be dropped inside dedicated bins for electronic waste. Electronics contain chemicals that can leak into the environment if not properly discarded,” the advisory said.