Wiping an iGadget’s contents for disposing

When it’s time to get rid of your iGadget [what I call any of the gadgets from Apple – iPhone, iPad, etc. that use iOS], you must wipe the data off your iGadget before you dispose of it [which will end up in some Chinese landfill but hopefully actually recycled instead] or giving it to someone to use.

The following instructs will wipe your data. Note that as iOS changes, these instructions may not be exactly the same.

HUGE WARNING: This involves wiping out the data on your iGadget. You won’t be able to get the data back [or at least not so easily]. So make sure you have a copy of what you need.

  1. Perform a full backup of your iGadget either to a computer or through the This will allow you to restore your data if you are migrating to a newer iGadget.
  2. On the iGadget, tap Settings | iCloud. Scroll down and tap Sign Out.
  3. You will be required to confirm, so tap Sign Out again. Note that this will remove iCloud access completely and all the data associated with that account on the current iGadget. This includes disabling Turn off my iPhone service, which is also known as Activation Lock.
  4. Go to Settings | General, and tap Reset.
  5. At the Reset screen, tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  6. If a passcode is configured [hopefully it is], you’ll be required to enter your passcode.
    Tap Erase iPhone [or equivalent] when prompted.
  7. The iGadget will reboot and display the Apple logo with a progress bar below it indicating how far the wiping has been completed.
Note: Make sure the iGadget is kept on to make sure the wiping is completed correctly. If needed, plug it in to keep charged.

Yahoo recycling e-mail addresses

Aside from the news that Yahoo is now scanning you e-mail for keywords to be used for advertising, they are also involved in another issue.

Yahoo began to recycle old e-mail addresses that have been shut down for a year or more.

This has opened a new can of worms as some people who are using the recycled addresses are receiving personal messages that were intended for the original account holder. Some of the messages contain sensitive personal information such as data about other accounts, appointments, emailed receipts, and other personal information.

Yahoo claims that before reassigning the recycled addresses, they attempted to contact the account owners in several ways. Additionally they would unsubscribe the dormant accounts from alerts and newsletters. Additionally they notify merchants, ecommerce sites, financial institutions, social networks, email providers, and other others that the account no longer exists before reassigning the name.

Problem could occur if some illegal activity was associated with the old account such as child pornography or maybe the account is getting spam and the spammers’ domain doesn’t seem to care about blocking the messages or punishing the sender.

This is also a huge hole for possible identity theft. While most are smart enough to not give out sensitive information, others are.

For example if someone decided not to change their Facebook account login e-mail address but did ignore their Yahoo account, the new owner could theoretically reset the Facebook account and access the personal information because they have the e-mail address associated with the Facebook account.

If anything a dormant account longer that 2 or maybe 3 years would have been more logical.

Of course why on earth are they bothering? It is not like there is a shortage of e-mail address like IPv4 addresses.