Tis the season to be jolly, and this might be a good time to consider giving your older electronics with some life left in them to someone who could put them to good use.
Last week, a client asked me what she should do before giving her old iPhone to her housekeeper. I am glad she asked because there are some very important steps that must be taken to ensure your online security before giving someone your old iPhone or iPad. It is essential that you remove that device from your AppleID account. To do this, go to icloud.com and click on “Find My Phone.” At the top of the screen, pull down the menu under “All Devices.” If you have several devices listed, you may need to use the “Play Sound” icon to make sure you are removing the right one. Turn your device off and wait several minutes. When a black circle with a white “X” appears, click on it to remove that device from your account.
Apple makes this process difficult, but do not skip it! Otherwise, years from now, when your old iPhone ends up in a garage sale, some crook could use it to steal your identity if that serial number is still registered to you. Android phones are easier. Go to myaccount.google.com, enter your email and password, click on “Security,” and scroll down to “Your devices,” where you’ll see a list of your smartphone(s) and/or tablet(s). Click on the device you are giving away, then click on “Sign out” to remove its access to your account.
If you’re giving away an old model Windows laptop, you should first remove your personal information. The easiest way to do this is to follow the instructions for your model to reset to factory defaults. This will remove all of your personal files and restore Windows its original settings.
Another consideration is language. Smartphones and tablets are easily changed from English to Spanish, but not so with laptops. Only a few versions of Microsoft Windows are multi-language, so changing a Windows laptop from English to Español requires reinstalling the operating system, a job best left to professionals.
In the case of my client who wanted to gift his three-year-old laptop to his gardener for his children to use, I offered that since he was being so generous, I would do the job of converting the English laptop to Español for no charge. I will make the same offer to any readers willing to give their old Windows laptop to someone who needs it. There should still be time before Three Kings Day to have your gift ready. This offer is limited to working laptops not over five years old. My contact information in San Miguel is below:
Charles Miller is a freelance computer consultant, a frequent visitor to San Miguel since 1981, and now practically a full-time resident. He may be contacted at 415 101 8528 or email FAQ8@SMAguru.com.