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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

What To Do with Your Old Cell Phone



By Robyn Wright

Some people keep their phones for years but others (like me) seem to get a new phone every couple of months. While it’s exciting to get to know all the latest features and apps associated with a new device, we also have the problem of what to do with the old one.

Fortunately, there are now a number of different options for getting rid of unwanted phones – and none of them involve adding to that pile of electronics in your junk drawer! Here are a few of the choices, along with some tips on what to do before you let that old phone go.

Trade in or trade up
Most carriers now offer trade in and trade up programs. Follow the instructions online or take your old device to any store to get a valuation and a credit against a brand new device. This can save you a considerable amount of money as you upgrade to a better phone.

Sell your phone
You can also sell your phone on your own. Take out a classified ad; sell your phone on eBay; make a deal with friends and family; or you can use an electronics resale sight like Glyde.com.

Donate your phone to HopeLine
If trading in or selling your phone is too much of a hassle, then I encourage you to donate your old phones to Verizon’s HopeLine program, which supports victims of domestic abuse. The phones can be old or not working, as they will be refurbished by HopeLine technicians. They don’t even have to be Verizon phones, as HopeLine will accept devices from any carrier.

Before you part with your old device, make sure you do the following:

Restore factory settings
If you go to the Settings function of your phone, you will find an option to “restore factory settings.” This will wipe out all your data and apps and re-set the phone to the “out of the box” state it was in when you first got it.

Remove any memory cards
If your phone has an external memory card (SD card or MicroSD card), be sure to remove it. You can reuse the card in another compatible device.

Remove the SIM card
When you get a new phone, it is often possible to transfer the SIM card from your old device and retain your old number, address book, etc. Even if your old SIM card is not compatible with your new phone, be sure to remove it so your information remains private.

So how many old phones do you have around your house and what do you plan to do with them?

Robyn Wright is a social media specialist and blogs on her own blog, RobynsOnlineWorld.com, as well as several other sites. Robyn has a love for family, technology, food and lots of apps!



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