With summer break quickly approaching, I’m writing to suggest a timely story idea on the biggest mistakes students make when selling their used devices.  

It’s no secret that after years of homework, all-nighters, and hundreds of lectures many students sell their devices to reward themselves with a new piece of technology.  

According to Lookout — the leader in delivering integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions — many hackers will find a way to steal personal information from used devices due to these 3 main mistakes made when selling: 

MISTAKE #1: KEEPING THE SAME PASSWORD Hackers are getting more advanced every day – by changing your passwords you’ll help secure your information – and let’s be honest, you probably need to update them anyway.  

MISTAKE #2: LEAVING DEVICE CONNECTED TO OTHER DEVICES
 Mobile phones are increasingly becoming more integrated into our laptops/desktops, make sure you completely disconnect the device you’re selling from your phone or vice versa. 

MISTAKE #3: ERASED DOCUMENTS DOESN’T = RESET
 Deleting all your important documents is a great start, but to ensure security Lookout recommends doing a full factory reset. Here’s how:

iOS Devices:
Hold down Shift Option Command R keys while starting up your device
Open the Disk Utility and erase your built-in hard disk
Then select MacOS Extended format and quit Disk Utility when completed
After it reinstalls, you can skip the setup process since you’re selling by clicking Command Q and let the new owner set up their device

Windows Devices:
Click the Start Menu > Settings > Updates & Security > Recovery Menu
Select Reset This PC > Get Started
Then follow the instructions provided by your PC
When asked how you want to erase data chose ‘thoroughly’ instead of ‘quickly’
To solve these types of mistakes, I can also suggest checking out Lookout – an app for consumer-focused cybersecurity.