Android has never been bigger in the States (or globally) and, in all likelihood, many of you are looking to upgrade to a new phone at some point. Whether you give your old Android phone to a family member or friend or just throw it up on eBay, there are a couple important things you should do to protect your data and privacy.

  1. Back up your data for your new phone. Your apps will still be available for re-downloading, but not necessarily the data they save to your phone. (This changes in Android 2.2, which will back up your app data.) The easiest way to do this is simply mount your phone to your computer so that the microSD card and any internal memory can be read. After that, all you need to do is just make a copy of everything on your phone and save it in a folder on your computer and put it on your new phone when the time comes. Using AppBrain is the easiest way to get all your apps reinstalled on your new phone.
  2. Remove or reformat the microSD card and any internal storage, depending on if you are planning on moving it to your new phone or keeping it with your old one. You should be able to do this in Menu > Settings >SD card & phone storage but using your computer might be necessary (my option for "Format SD card" was greyed out). 
  3. Do a factory data reset. This should wipe your phone of all user data and restore it to how it came to you in the box. If you have custom ROM's or have your phone rooted, you might run into some issues though. You can find this by going into Menu > Settings > Privacy > Factory data reset. Just make sure you have everything backed up before doing this!

By following these steps, you will ensure than none of your emails, contact info, or browsing history can fall into the wrong hands when you move to a new device.