You've unwrapped that present, opened the box to reveal the latest and greatest in cell phone technology! You're new phone is going to bring you a lot of enjoyment but that old phone of yours could be a source of great pain if you don't protect yourself.

You've used that old phone for everything in your life - sending text messages, taking all kinds of pictures, checked your many email accounts, paid your bills, surfed the internet, saved your passwords and so much more. With so much of your life on that little hand held device, you will definitely want to make sure your life is wiped clean from it when selling it or trading it in. If you don't, you could end up with a lot of trouble and locked out of a lot of things.

ABC's Becky Worley connected with Ontrack, a data recovery company, and purchased some phones to see what kind of potentially damaging personal information could be discovered and what they uncovered was eye opening.

So if you go to resell, recycle or trade in your old phone you'll want to make sure ALL of your personal information is wiped clean from that phone before turning it over to another cell provider or individual that's going to buy it. Here's how you can easily reset your phone:

iPhone users follow these steps

  • go to settings
  • general
  • reset
  • choose erase all content

Now if your screen is broken, you can plug it into your computer and erase it from there. Or you can access it via iCloud and locate your phone and then choose the 'erase the phone' option.

Android users can reset and clear through the device's settings app. If your screen is not responsive but boots up, you can try using Wi-Fi and remotely erase your phone using the steps found on Google's support site.

Bottom line is, ERASE EVERYTHING from your phone when you go to get rid of it or there could potentially be some consequences you'll have to deal with.

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