Data on your mobile device is private and you want to keep it that way. The security/privacy of customer data is critically important to the Cell Clinic and our policies, hiring, and retention practices reflect this fact.
However, you also need to take important steps to protect your data before asking anyone to repair your cell phone, tablet, or computer.
The proof of this was profiled recently by CBC’s Marketplace “took smartphones and laptops to repair stores across Ontario — including large chains Best Buy and Mobile Klinik — and found that in more than half of the documented cases, technicians accessed intimate photos and private information not relevant to the repair.
In most cases, repair shops will need to access your device to diagnose, repair and test. It’s important to them, and to you, that the device is returned in working order.
Tips to secure your data when accessing repairs that ultimately can save you valuable time and money when it comes to your electronics.
1. Always choose a reputable repair company...
Cost savings is important but the reputation of a company and its technicians is more important. Your data is priceless and your device is costly.
Do your research – ask for referrals and read reviews to help you choose a reputable company that has been in business for a while.
Ensure the company provides quality repairs and warranty at fair prices -- paying more or less in the mobile repair industry doesn’t mean you’re getting better parts or service.
Make if the company has long-term employees. Good companies typically have long-term and trusted employees. At the end of the day, the people who handle your phone are the ones you need to trust, and if a trusted company trusts them, you should be able to as well.
2. If your device has power and you have time...
·Back Up Your Data / Perform a Factory Reset. The most secure means of protecting your data is to perform a backup on a trusted cloud service / external device prior to a repair.
3. If you don’t have time/desire to back up your data or do a factory reset...
Don’t provide your passcode to the repair shop and set a strong lock screen password but understand your device may not be effectively diagnosed/repaired if the tech can’t test the device.
Delete sensitive data such as photos, messages, and documents.
Log out of your apps/accounts.
Disable Find My iPhone / Find My Device.
Set your photos to only open by Face ID.
Inquire about the company’s data handling policies and whether they perform repairs on-site or send devices elsewhere.
Encrypt your data if your phone supports it.
Remove SIM / SD cards.