Consumer Reports: Getting rid of a car or old device? Remember to delete your data

With all these different connection features, you need to remember to log out of them before you sell the car.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Newer cars are like computers on wheels.

That means when you're trading in or selling your car, you need to take similar steps as you would when getting rid of a computer.

Otherwise, your private data could end up in someone else's driveway.

Consumer Reports has some easy ways to wipe your car clean-- so it doesn't sell you out.

Your car is kind of like a phone. It logs data about what features you access and addresses you've been to, and even things like WiFi hot spots where you like to log in.

With all these different connection features, you need to remember to log out of them before you sell the car.

Before saying goodbye to your car, make sure that you delete Bluetooth connections and that there are no contacts saved on the car.

Then you can do the same thing with your phone, and make sure you delete the pairing of the phone with the car.

Remember to take your automatic garage door opener so the new driver can't get into your garage if they find your home address stored in the navigation system or on stray paperwork.

And if you use a built-in system like HomeLink for your garage door, make sure to reset that as well.

There are also telematics systems that connect you directly to automakers and service providers.

You can usually find an SOS or call button on the rearview mirror or something on the interior top near the mirror, and those connect you to a live operator.

You'll get help removing the vehicle or yourself from the telematics account.

If you've installed apps on your phone that let you connect to your car, make sure to log out of those accounts as well.

Depending on the automaker, those apps could store: driver data, navigation destinations, and driving history.

Many newer cars have an option to return the onboard computer to factory settings, which will wipe out all personal settings.

You should check the manual or call the dealer.

If you have found old devices while doing your spring cleaning, there are a few steps you need to take before you sell, donate or recycle those items.

Just deleting files and logging out is not enough, Consumer Reports says.

Anything stored locally on a device, like photos, videos, or any personal documents, may still be on there if the only thing you've done is log out of different accounts.

First, back things up using an external drive or cloud-based service.

Then search online for specific factory reset directions for your device. It can be done on laptops, tablets, smartphones, wearable tech, and more.

Even after a factory reset, a hacker could still access your old files.

While that's very unlikely, you have other, more permanent options, though it could decrease the value of your tech.

More extreme measures include destroying the hard drive or even destroying, then recycling, the device itself.

CR says other devices that need a factory reset include TVs, gaming consoles, and streaming devices like Roku.

These all have your data, so you want to make sure to get rid of it before passing it on to the next person.

CR adds it's important to remove any external storage in your devices, like microSD cards. And for smartphones and tablets with cellular, you'll also want to find and remove the SIM card.

If you don't have the tool to remove it that came with your device, you can use a paper clip instead.

So make sure your old tech doesn't create new identity theft problems.

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